The Field Mice, Coastal

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 10.13.11 in Reviews

There was a lot more to the Field Mice than they let on at first. Their name, and Robert Wratten’s breathy murmur, were as twee as humanly possible, and this 1991 compilation of singles and EP tracks leads with “September’s Not So Far Away,” whose arrangement suggests weeks on end spent listening to the Byrds. As the album winds inward, though, it gets a lot richer and more varied — the pitter-patting groove of “Let’s Kiss and Make Up” applies the syntax of acid house to rock instrumentation, and the band’s heart-on-sleeve lyrics hint at much darker emotional states.