The Deep Freeze Mice

A fascinatingly bizarre and bizarrely fascinating lo-fi group that melded post-punk, new wave, and all sorts of avant-garde—kraut, experimental, noise—together in very... committed and deliberate ways, sometimes effectively, sometimes not quite. In listening to their discography, I'd say their primary struggle pertained to not having enough in the way of recording resources, tools; they don't seem to have been hampered by a lack of ideas, middling melodies, throwaway lyrics. Considering the fact they churned out singles, EPs, LPs in their ten years of existence, though, it's easy to see this as a natural byproduct of being wildly productive, not a result of sloppiness or amateurishness.

There's a bit of the buttoned-up hipster jangle pop that Monochrome Set traded in, the bookish nerdiness of early They Might Be Giants, the paranoid and schizo sprawls of the Fall, the glumness of the Cure and Bauhaus, and the existential headiness of Sonic Youth at its most abrasive and rough. It's tough to pick favorites as each offering is a different beast, but I think 1982's The Gates of Lunch may be the full-length I'd reach for most readily.

Think the Dead Milkmen liked these guys? Probably.

Two more things: First, Deep Freeze Mice are included in the Nurse with Wound list, a nice accolade; second, Alan Jenkins, one of the core members, was in the Chrysanthemums, another excellent group.