Angel Air continues to sweep up the furthest flung crumbs of the Ray Russell canon for reissue, and now they've finally swatted the Mouse onto CD. This quartet, comprising Russell, drummer Alan Rushton, keyboardist Jeff Watts, and singer Alan Greed released their sole album on EMI in 1973.
Russell jokes in the booklet that "attempts to make a single were forgotten about an hour into the first session," but even so the compulsive "Electric Lady," a throbbing rocker or alternately, the bouncy pop-flecked "We Can Make It" both fit that bill. And even if "Going Out Tonight" was a little too quirky for singledom, it was still the perfect set opener on-stage or on record.
Given free rein, however, the band were all to free to explore the byways of their own obsessions. "All the Fallen Teen Angels," for example, is proof positive that you really can put a reggae beat to any kind of music, even pompous, synth-driven pop/rock and it certainly is startling, but would you really want to hear it twice? "Asher Besher," in contrast, delves deep into Black Sabbath territory, "The Happening to Me and You" dips into psychedelia, while "Just Came Back" returns from Delta blues.
But even with all its musical meanderings, this is a more commercial album than Russell lets on, and if only producer John Acock had exerted a bit more control, squashing the occasional over-long intro and more tightly focused the songs, Lady Killer would have made a killing in the charts. As is, it's still a fine set of '70s rock in a supple and subtle experimental mode.
by Jo-Ann Greene
1. Going Out Tonight - 4:45
2. You Don't Know - 2:41
3. Electric Lady - 2:38
4. All The Fallen Teen Angels (J. Fidler, P. Hope Evans) - 3:32
5. Ashen Besher - 5:30
6. We Can Make It - 3:32
7. East Of The Sun - 4:34
8. It's Happening To Me And You - 2:49
9. Sunday - 2:49
10.Just Came Back - 5:18
11.Lost In The City (R. Russell) - 3:55
12.Timothy Leary's Ride Home (R. Russell) - 0:45
13.Jamie (R. Russell) - 2:42
14.Hit And Run (R. Russell) - 5:25
All songs by Mouse unless as else written.
Bonus tracks 11-14
*Alan Clare - Keyboards, Vocals
*Alan Rushton - Drums
*Ray Russell - Guitar
*Jeff "Tain" Watts - Bass
the Free Text