Mice Parade: What It Means to Be Left-Handed

Fat Cat

With What It Means to Be Left-Handed, Mice Parade's Adam Pierce (check the anagram, nerds!) enters his second decade as frontman of the far-reaching avant-world-pop NYC group. On tour, the band rolls 10 strong (including Athens electro-pop wizard Josh McKay), and the sounds on its new full-length possess a corresponding depth. The first half of What It Means is awash with dazzling, lush instrumentalism that nearly falls victim to its own ambition. "Kupanda," for instance, is gorgeous, but its sweeping world-music frills threaten to drag it down. More successful is "Do Your Eyes See Sparks," which utilizes a similar Highlife rhythm but incorporates Mice Parade's intricate post-rock potency to create a compelling hybrid. The second half of the record is a different animal entirely; all Yo La Tengo fuzz-pop and diffusive electro texture. It's far from a coherent work, but it's eminently listenable, and its best moments (like the busy but understated "Tokyo Late Night") border on the brilliant. (3 out of 5 stars.)