12 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The collaboration between Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars and The Fall’s Mark E. Smith is like an unexpected gift for fans of both artists: by stripping away their serious art/tough guy facades and having fun (consider the band name alone), they show themselves capable of things fans may never have imagined. Smith trades in his signature aloof bemusement for purer doses of acidic sarcasm and dark humor, while German duo Mouse on Mars distills its vast electronic talents into irresistibly potent rhythms and beats, sans any post-rock noodling. From the static beats and dub treatment of “Flooded” to Smith’s bizarrely smooth, pop-star vocals on both “The Rhinohead” and the gentle Afro-pop lullaby “Dearest Friends,” each track is an individually wrapped surprise. “Fledermaus Can’t Get It” stutters along with a nerve-wracking, dance-inducing energy, and is precisely executed.  Smiths’ mouthful-of-marbles pidgin German on “Speech Contamination/German Fear of Österreich” is a riot, with clattering, shrieking samplers sounding like machines rebelling against their contemptuous master. The fantastically off-beat “Chicken Yiamas” (featuring acoustic guitars!) evokes a Mark E. Smith cartoon, our hero trapped in a barn crowded with hay bales and squawking, feathered creatures; he’s darn near hysterical at the end. Genius.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The collaboration between Andi Toma and Jan St. Werner of Mouse on Mars and The Fall’s Mark E. Smith is like an unexpected gift for fans of both artists: by stripping away their serious art/tough guy facades and having fun (consider the band name alone), they show themselves capable of things fans may never have imagined. Smith trades in his signature aloof bemusement for purer doses of acidic sarcasm and dark humor, while German duo Mouse on Mars distills its vast electronic talents into irresistibly potent rhythms and beats, sans any post-rock noodling. From the static beats and dub treatment of “Flooded” to Smith’s bizarrely smooth, pop-star vocals on both “The Rhinohead” and the gentle Afro-pop lullaby “Dearest Friends,” each track is an individually wrapped surprise. “Fledermaus Can’t Get It” stutters along with a nerve-wracking, dance-inducing energy, and is precisely executed.  Smiths’ mouthful-of-marbles pidgin German on “Speech Contamination/German Fear of Österreich” is a riot, with clattering, shrieking samplers sounding like machines rebelling against their contemptuous master. The fantastically off-beat “Chicken Yiamas” (featuring acoustic guitars!) evokes a Mark E. Smith cartoon, our hero trapped in a barn crowded with hay bales and squawking, feathered creatures; he’s darn near hysterical at the end. Genius.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Lectro1 ,

Wonderful

The gestalt. More of this please. That sound wiped is stuck in my head

JoeinLA ,

Amazingly wierd

I love this album - one of the best things Mark E. Smith has ever done. Check out "The Rhinohead".

McCutcheon ,

Mark E. Smith On Mars

Autobahn Funk with Feedback. Mark E. Smith TRAUMATIC ICON is the Vox BMW speeding in the red. Punk 2007 sounds like the future and is here and now on TROMATIC REFLEXXIONS.

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