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Mousetrap

Das Damen

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Album Review

Mousetrap marked Das Damen's first (and last) recording for Minneapolis' Twin/Tone after a stint of several years on So-Cal's SST. Their basic guitar-based sound didn't really change during the label shift, but the production did. Not surprisingly, they now sounded more like Soul Asylum and less like Dinosaur Jr. or the Screaming Trees. Paul Q. Kolderie and Sean Slade, best-known for their work with Radiohead, Throwing Muses, and countless other alternative radio staples, produced the album at their busy Fort Apache studio in Cambridge, MA. While not exactly slick, it's plagued, at least to some extent, by a generic college rock sheen. Too many rough edges have been sanded away. Fortunately, some tracks do manage to break out of the mold. "Demagnetized," for instance, is Das Damen at their best with its tricky time changes and inventive guitar playing. And "Please Please Me" would seem to be a thumbing of the nose at Michael Jackson regarding the brouhaha over their uncredited, now-withdrawn cover of "Magical Mystery Tour" on 1988's Marshmellow Conspiracy EP. It isn't, of course, actually a cover of the Beatles' song. The catchy "Sad Mile" was released on Sub Pop in a limited-edition (1500-copy) single b/w a fine cover of the Creation's British Psych nugget "Making Time". ~ Kathleen C. Fennessy, Rovi

Biography

Formed: 1984 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Das Damen were one of the more metallic acts in the legendary SST stable, melding '60s psychedelia and heavy acid rock with the noisy, punk-derived alternative rock typical of the label. Instead of delving into screaming white noise along the lines of labelmates Dinosaur Jr., Das Damen preferred warm, trippy, high-volume distortion. Their early material was given over to improvisational jamming, but as they developed their songwriting, they threw in more complex rhythms and time signature shifts....
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