gullbuy music review

The Field Mice


Snowball + Singles




Snowball CD coverThis band and these songs are gospel to many music fans. Bobby Wratten was the heartthrob of a nation of underground pop fans, and his songs of love are just as relevant now as they were when this record came out in 1989.

The Field Mice have been called the missing link between Belle & Sebastian and The Smiths (listen to This Love Is Not Wrong) by many. If you approach one of the three Field Mice reissues as a cynic, you could find The Field Mice to be annoyingly mopey - for evidence look up The Field Mice in Amazon and read the first customer review of the 32 song 1998 Shinkansen Where'd You Learn To Kiss That Way? 2xCD compilation. But if you come to the band tired after a day at work, or beaten by the abrasive flow of modern life, The Field Mice's songs could be a balm that sooths your soul.

The Snowball + Singles CD reissues

  • The Field Mice's first release - the Emma's House EP on Sarah Records
  • the follow-up single Sensitive b-w When Morning Comes To Town, on Sarah Records
  • the Snowball 10inch on Sarah Records
  • the 1989 I Can See Myself Alone Forever b-w Everything About You single for The Caff Corporation
  • That's All This Is, from the 1989 Airspace! compilation on Breaking Down records.

Opening track Let's Kiss And Make Up has become a classic for both Field Mice and Saint Etienne fans. Let's Kiss And Make Up was covered by Saint Etienne on their second single, and still shows up on many compilations of their songs.

There are two versions of Everything About You. Both sound like Byrds So You Wanna Be A Rock and Roll Star? The second version is a little more raw, with a treble/reverb guitar sound like Subway Sect.

White has a bit of the My Bloody Valentine sound that would occasionally enter The Field Mice palette. It is one of the best songs on this CD. Well, actually I'd better qualify that statement. With The Field Mice, the 'best' songs usually end up being one of the slower wimpier tracks that at some point achieve a special meaning to you. These less immediate tracks can end up permanently attached to a special memory, giving them the same importance as the smell of your grandmother's perfume. Trying to identify which Field Mice songs would end up as these this type of favorite is impossible, as I'm sure the selection is individual to each person.

Sensitive is the song that made many early fans really love the band. It rocks in a way that attracted lots of Factory Records fans.

Emma's House is probably my favorite track. It contains everything we came to love the Field Mice for, and is a perfect song - it lacks nothing.

I Can See Myself Alone Forever is the first of the songs I've singled out for mention that did not appear on the Where'd You Learn To Kiss That Way? compilation. For me, it is the jewel of this CD, as it is a top quality Field Mice song that I hadn't heard before.

When I heard that the LTM label - which always does a great job on reissues - put out three Field Mice discs I thought I didn't need them as I had the (at this point) sought after Shinkansen comp, but I really enjoyed this disc, and loved the liner notes by Alistair Fitchett.

---Carl, February 15, 2005