Aragon - Mouse


Year of Release: 1995
Label: SI Music [defunct]
Catalog Number: SI3069-2
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:00:00

Summary of history:

AT LAST, AT LAST! IT'S HERE, IT'S HERE. Listen to coming of the new age, the rise and fall and rise of Aragon from down there Australia. After many, many years of waiting for their fans and many agonizing years of frustration on their part at last it is here: Aragon's opera Mouse in 8 Acts (of which one, Act V, can be found on the mini CD The Meeting).

Someone might mistake this album for a punk rock album with all those short tracks and all. Still there are two tracks of 5 min, so there's no need to worry.

Aragon is also known for their use of a drum machine in some parts of their songs on their Don't Bring the Rain. As you can see, they do not even have a drummer anymore (marriage problems and so on) and this might make some people anxious already. Let's not wait and turn to the album right now.

The album:

The booklet contains both lyrics and story as was the case with The Meeting. Unfortunately, The Meeting should be put somewhere in between this album, and so I guess someone having both will try to record them such that the album becomes continuous, although I'm not sure that the band has assumed that this would happen.

The music starts out familiarly with sounds like those heard on the instrumental intro to "Company Of Wolves" from the Don't Bring The Rain album. The music and the vocals of Aragon are extremely their own. A few notes are usually enough to reach the conclusion that we are listening to Aragon. Of course this can never be bad in a line of music where one judges a band by how well they copy others. Another characteristic part of Aragon is the use of drumcomputers, better than by most bands, but still I'm not fond of it. The story is that after the leaving of their previous drummer, they found it impossible to introduce a new person into their midst. Well, okay, but I might like the music better if they had their drummer. I'm also not sure how often they play live, but without a drummer it will be hard to play live and stay credible.

As you might have gathered, we are talking major concept album here, and the album can not be judged by the tracks themselves (even less than for instance Brave), because there's no track-like approach here: the atmosphere and the conveyance of the story matter, nothing else. The album contains a lot of sound effects and not everything is original: a bassline here, a melody there (usually taken from their own work).

Stylicstically Aragon has alsways been on the darker side, notwithstanding the few up-tempo tracks on Don't Bring the Rain. If you're looking for references it's best to think of "The Cradle," "The Crucifixion" and both parts of "Company Of Wolves" from their debut album. The vocals are as always very emotional and also very harsh, so I can imagine people not liking it. Sometimes the musically can be playful as well (track 16 for instance) and the album is ended by "Auld Lang Syne" which was a surprise to me.

Conclusion:

A worthwhile album, but not for the timid. The music is loaded and varied while Dougan adds something extra through his expressive, biting singing. The music is not very complex, but not that melodic either. You simply have to experience it. Like Brave the melodies are not very captivating and there's a sameness to the music. The overall atmosphere however is more exhilirating and sad on Brave and more menacing and sinister here.

People might wonder if Mouse is better than Don't Bring the Rain. I don't think so but I also think that they are incomparable, like Brave and for instance Script are, because one is album oriented, so things sound a like a lot while the other is song oriented and extra care has been given to give every song it's own identity. Mouse belongs to the first of the two of course. Less highlights, but more an overall feeling.

The only thing I will reveal of the story is that it reminds of the Lamb. Although the Lamb seems to be more of sexual nature, Mouse's problem has to do with the order that imposed on him by the world erasing the freedom that he so desires. In it figures the Machine also described by Pink Floyd on one of their better efforts.

[This review appears courtesy Jurriaan Hage and can be found in it's original form at his website Axiom Of Choice - ed.

In 1999, the album was re-issued as a double album with the Meeting tracks inserted in their proper location. Additional details on the 1999 re-issue: LaBrad'or Records, LBD 040005, 58:49







Tracklisting:
The Dark (2:05) / A Private Matter (1:32) / Waiting On A Life (3:34) / The Gate (1:39) / End Of The Line (4:05) / Next Please (0:16) / Untying The Knot (1:32) / Untying The Knot Part 2 (1:58) / Untying The Knot Part 3 (1:06) / Cold In A Warm Place (5:38) / The Gathering (1:55) / Under The Eye (2:21) / In Deepest Sympathy (2:47) / Burning Off (0:48) / A Room And One Door (1:45) /Shocked - The Gauntlet (2:24) / The Sheer Joy Of Creation (4:03) / The Waiting Room (0:26) / At The Mercy Of Lions (3:14) / Waiting For The Big One (4:45) / At Heavens Gate (0:53) / Hello God (4:01) / Brave New World (5:38) / The Stage Door/The Switch (2:38) / The Cross (5:00) / Auld Lang Syne (1:32)

The 1999 edition: Disc One: The Dark (2:05) / A Private Matter (1:32) / Waiting On A Life (3:34) / The Gate (1:39) / End Of The Line (4:05) / Next Please (0:16) / Untying The Knot (1:32) / Untying The Knot Part 2 (1:58) / Untying The Knot Part 3 (1:06) / Cold In A Warm Place (5:38) / The Gathering (1:55) / Under The Eye (2:21) / In Deepest Sympathy (2:47) / Burning Off (0:48) / The Meeting (3:22) / The Chant (3:17) / Midsummer's Night Dream (2:23) / Tugging At The Heartstrings (3:25) / The Changeling (9:42) / On The Edge (5:12)

Disc Two: A Room And One Door (1:45) /Shocked - The Gauntlet (2:24) / The Sheer Joy Of Creation (4:03) / The Waiting Room (0:26) / At The Mercy Of Lions (3:14) / Waiting For The Big One (4:45) / At Heavens Gate (0:53) / Hello God (4:01) / Brave New World (5:38) / The Stage Door/The Switch (2:38) / The Cross (5:00) / Auld Lang Syne (1:32) / Interview On The Creation Of Mouse (12:26)

Musicians:
Tom Behrsing - keyboards, programming
Les Dougan - vocals
John Poloyannis - guitars

Discography:
Don't Bring the Rain (1990)
The Meeting (1992)
Rocking Horse (1993)
Mouse (1995)
Mr. Angel (1997)
The Angels Tear (2004)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin AU

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Jurriaan Hage

Artist website: www.members.optusnet.com.au/aragon9/
Hits: 2313
Language: english

  

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