excuseMesir, With You In Mind

excuseMesir, <em>With You In Mind</em>

It’s a weird bit of irony, to me, that Modest Mouse no longer sounds like Modest Mouse. Over the past few years, they’ve lost that rambling, shambling, feet-shuffling, smart-but-shy-about-it charm they displayed on The Lonesome Crowded West, and dammit, I miss that.

Lucky for me, excuseMesir is here to fill the void. On recent EP With You In Mind, the band’s nimble-fingered, slightly soulful indie-rock jamming brings to mind that same effortless brilliance Modest Mouse showed way back when, and melds it with a funky, more “urban”-sounding feel, due in large part to sultry vocalist Kelsey Lee Bland.

I’ll admit, I didn’t get it at first — when I initially listened to excuseMesir, it seemed like Bland had stumbled off the street and into the rehearsal for the wrong damn band and just stayed out of sheer stubbornness. She’s more Asli Omar late-night sleekness (or at the very least, Annie Hardy indie-cool) than, say, Corin Tucker sharp-smart rawk, but somehow it works, even still.

On tracks like “Siren Song” and “Fools Gold,” in particular, Bland’s vocals ripple and flow over the top of the busy, bubbling, jazzy melody-rhythms created by guitarist Darron Beekman, bassist/vocalist Hayden Wander, and drummer Skyler Scholtes, and the end result is some truly enticing prog-pop. Opener “Lizards” is a little further off-kilter, with that aforementioned Modest Mouse-ish sound much more in evidence, while “Dead Weight” slows things down and bluesifies them nicely, albeit in a somewhat sideways fashion.

Then there’s “Sleep Well,” with starts off deceptively gentle and friendly, with noodly, tapped guitars dancing along beside the stutter-stepping drums and Bland’s voice, but then the switch gets flipped — the guitars turn angry and Wander howls in a damn good approximation of old-school mid-’90s emo fury…before everything shifts carefully backwards down to the proggier, more low-key motif.

Overall, With You In Mind is neat, neat stuff, a great shot across the bow (okay, okay — not counting their demo, but that’s from before this current incarnation of the band existed) by a band that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. I don’t know where these folks are headed, but it should be interesting, at the very least.

[excuseMesir is playing 1/3/13 at Mango’s, along with Backyard Beehive, sputniq, We Scare Coyotes, & The Act Rights.]
(self-released; excuseMesir -- http://excusemesir713.tumblr.com/; excuseMesir (Facebook) -- http://www.facebook.com/excusemesir713; excuseMesir (Bandcamp) -- http://excusemesir.bandcamp.com/)
BUY ME: Bandcamp

Review by . Review posted Thursday, January 3rd, 2013. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “excuseMesir, With You In Mind

  1. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Square and Compass + What Made Milwaukee Famous + Sunrise and Ammunition + Willie Nelson + More on January 25th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    […] their part, on new-ish EP With You In Mind, excuseMesir comes off more like late-night, darkly-imagined indie-prog; think old-school Modest […]

  2. Jessie M. on January 27th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    These guys remind me of Bela Fleck or The D. Dregs from the eighties/nineties. The style doesn’t call for such a good female vocalist, or any vocalist at all, IMHO. She should get with a group that can better showcase her voice, or, write and perform her own stuff. I don’t know where she came from, but she’s WAY to good to front this style of music.

  3. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: excuseMesir (Final Show!) + Balmorhea + B.E. Godfrey + Omotai + Blackmarket Syndicate + Jason Smith + More on March 24th, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    […] which seriously impressed the hell out of me. They’re fairly different, mind you — on With You In Mind, the latter is proggy and soulful at the same time, which is no mean feat, while S&A’s […]

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yes, Indeed! 2014, This Saturday (Rundown, Pt. 1): RIVERS + Keeton Coffman + Belvoir + Megafauna + Ma & God + Sphynx + Sand Dollar Swing + Cassette Tape + A.J. Vincent + England in 1819 on May 27th, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    […] previously seen/heard with both Second Lovers and the gone-too-dang-soon outfit excuseMesir, which I was really impressed with back in […]

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