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Bats & Mice are made up of members of Milemarker, the Rah Bras, and Men's Recovery Project. This history would suggest a mix of caustic rock, yet, although Bats & Mice play driving music that may be descended from hardcore and angular punk, it is focused on pop song structures and melody. This approach creates a sound that contains components of subtle bands like Death Cab for Cutie, as well as noisier melodic outfits like Cursive.
The band was originally formed by three members of Sleepytime Trio in Richmond, VA. After recording their self-titled debut EP, one of the original members left to pursue other projects. Bandmates David Nesmith and Ben Davis then recruited Four Hundred Years' Daron Hollowell and Ash Bruce. Bats & Mice's first full-length, Believe It Mammals, was released on Lovitt Records in 2002. The album includes haunting vocals from three of the four members over crisp percussion and intense guitar work with deliveries that range from dreamy to towering. Hollowell and Bruce then left to pursue their band Delegate, and Luke Herbst came in on drums. The A Person Carrying a Handmade Paper Bag Is Considered as a Royal Person EP was released in 2004. Herbst departed Bats & Mice to join Totimoshi that same year, and the lineup came full circle with Jonathan Fuller returning on drums.