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GREY MOUSE

Psychedelic/Space Rock • Russia


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Grey Mouse biography
Moscow based band GREY MOUSE was created by Dmitry Rybachev and Alex Chunikhin. They started as a classic psychedelic rock group with strong blues basics, where line-up and sound steadily changed over the course furthermore They have given a large number of live performances in Moscow and other cities, participated in various festivals, preserving and maintaining their own unique style.

In 2005 their debut album 'No Masks' was released on Jagi Jagi Records, followed by 'Blind&Ugly' on BRP three years later. GREY MOUSE is not afraid of experiments. Along with the song-like genre, they are also actively experimenting with noise and background music. The band also collaborated with the Film Club, Art Cinema, making live voicing of silent movie masterpieces of the early 20th century (the so-called live film shows).

The recordings for the current album 'Trip' took place using analog recording methods in the studio. While including female vocals by Victoria Barsukova, a few new instruments were used like didgeridoo, sitar, jaw harp which brings them closer to ethno inspired psychedelic/space rock in the vein of fellow countrymen Ole Lukkoye.

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GREY MOUSE discography


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GREY MOUSE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
No Masks
2005
3.00 | 2 ratings
Blind & Ugly
2008
3.91 | 3 ratings
Trip
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Animalism
2014
3.98 | 4 ratings
A Moment of Weakness
2021

GREY MOUSE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GREY MOUSE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

GREY MOUSE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Twisted Tango
2015

GREY MOUSE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

GREY MOUSE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Moment of Weakness by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.98 | 4 ratings

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A Moment of Weakness
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars It took a long time for Grey Mouse to return with their next album, but in 2021 they released 'A Moment of Weakness' with yet another considerable twist in both line-up and style. Founder and bassist Alex Chunikhin is still there, also now adding guitar, while his brother (I am guessing) drummer Kirill is again in the band but this time he only plays on half of the tracks with Denis Bayukansky providing the rest. Singer Victoria has been replaced by a male vocalist in Mikhail Kudrey while the sitars have both disappeared and how we have cellist Uliana Volkova and no guests at all.

This is the most depressing and downbeat of all their releases, and singer Mikhail is a real find, with clear unaccented vocals which makes one think of the classic, blues-based singers like Jim Morrison, Nick Drake, David Byron etc. There is a great deal of restrained passion and power within his voice, and when he reaches up, he hits the notes and sustains them in a manner which is indicative of someone who has undertaken a great deal of live work and knows exactly what he is capable of. The cello adds a wonderfully gothic and deep feel, and there is far less guitar which allows the band to shine incredibly well on songs like "Better Than Me". Alex is also playing chords on his bass which always adds a different style and timbre to the songs which are thoughtful and polished. Again, there is a great deal of space within the arrangement, and there are times when the music is just drums and bass and the feeling is very much of the late Sixties/early Seventies and one can imagine this being played by The Doors if they were still around today.

Grey Mouse are a band who keep changing and transforming themselves, the result being a series of albums which are all worth investigating, but this is the farthest removed from what they have been doing previously and alongside 'Trip" is my favourite to date. I wonder what they will come up with next?

 Animalism by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Animalism
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Even though Grey Mouse were back with their fourth album only a year after their previous one, of course there had been some line-up changes. This time they had added a second sitar player in Sergey Perehov and had dispensed totally with a full-time guitarist and instead had used some guests (although one of these was Herman Aleshin who had guested on a few other albums) and even brought in a banjo player!! The strange thing is though, in many ways this is a far less experimental album than previously, and the sitars are not nearly as in your face as one might expect. In many ways it feels this album belongs to Victoria in that the band are bringing in elements of grunge and garage rock, all steeped with plenty of blues' idioms (we even get a drum solo in "Erase") and it feels in some ways as if they have been listening to Stone The Crows as an influence and have then taken it from there.

This album is much more in your face and less experimental than the last few and given this followed on so quickly from the last one with basically the same line-up that is somewhat of a surprise. There are still times when they do move back in that direction, with the lengthy "Bottom" being a case in point, but it definitely feels as if this is a band who simply refuse to stand still and instead need to keep moving and changing. Back in the early days of prog and classic rock bands changed consistently, often at a very rapid pace and it was sometimes hard to keep up, whereas today it is far more common for bands to find a sound and stick with it for a period of time. That is obviously not good enough for these guys, who keep transforming themselves yet maintaining a common thread, so the albums are all related even if each one is different in its own way. Another very enjoyable release, and it is only due to personal taste that I did not enjoy this quite as much as the previous one.

 Trip by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.91 | 3 ratings

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Trip
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

4 stars By the time Grey Mouse came back for their third album in 2013 there is no doubt they had been on quite a journey, but that is not the "trip" referred to in the title but instead is something of a rather more drug-induced nature. While the rhythm section of Alexey Chunikhin (bass) and Kirill Chunikhin (drums) were still around, there had been a significant change in both musicians and instruments. They had changed singers from male to female in Victoria Barsukova, now had guitarist Andrew Batalin and had brought in Maxim Shutikov (sitar, didjeridoo, jaw harp) who had obviously changed the sound quite dramatically. Herman Aleshin had returned as a guest (providing drone on one song) while they had also brought in a second sitar player in Andrew Bochko who plays on two.

Second track, "Villain?", seems to have everything from gentle small girl vocals to venom, experimentation to early Seventies hard rock, and a band which are obviously in control but are the only ones who actually know what is going on. They have managed to maintain some links with what the band was doing previously, even though only the rhythm section have been involved with the other albums yet have moved far more into experimental and progressive. The stoner elements are still there, but now with the knowledge that here is a band who are highly confident in what they are doing and no longer want to stay within the norms and instead are pushing boundaries. Victoria at times is so quiet that it is almost impossible to hear what she is either singing or saying, while at others she is on the crest of the wave and relishing what is going on beneath. "Ultima Thule" even brings in classic Indian stylings yet bringing in Western influences to turn it into something else. This is such an incredibly enjoyable album as it is easy to listen to yet is always changing and moving.

 Blind & Ugly by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Blind & Ugly
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

3 stars By the time Moscow's Grey Mouse returned with their second album in 2008 they had changed guitarists, with Arseny Fedorov now in that role while Herman Aleshin guested on two tracks as well. In many ways it is difficult to realise this is the same band as while they have moved more into stoner and less psychedelic, it is also far more passionate and experimental while containing more power. "Hatred" in particular is an all-consuming track with some wonderful basslines, drumming which drives hard when it needs to and sits back at others while the guitar really rocks. Nikolay has also grown greatly on confidence, using his vocals as a real delivery agent as opposed to just being along for the ride.

This is a far more progressive album than the debut, with the band bringing in elements both of RIO and avant garde improvisation, and not afraid to have long instrumental passages. It is almost as if in the three years since the last release they have matured greatly, and the result is an album which is far more enjoyable as there is just so much more depth and detail here to enjoy. This is something which needs to be played on headphones when one has the time to get inside as there is a great deal going on, and even when they ramp it up, as they do on "Obsession", there is the feeling that this is a very different outfit indeed from what they were before even though there has only been one change in line-up. The band were evolving, so what would come next?

 No Masks by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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No Masks
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Grey Mouse is a Russian psychedelic/progressive rock band from Russia who were formed in Moscow in the late 90's by bassist Alexey Chunikhin, who has remained the only constant part of the collective. They are now with the wonderful Addicted/No Name label, and all their albums are currently available through their Bandcamp page. My thanks to Anton for sending me through all their studio albums so I can hear the changes and progression from the band over the years. 'No Masks' was their debut, released in 2005, at which time Alexey had been joined by Nikolay Mitenkov 'Dorian' (vocals), Dmitriy Kir'yakov (guitar) and Kirill Chunikhin (drums, percussion). This release was dated when it came out, as it is looking back to the late Sixties/early Seventies in many ways, and somehow, I kept being reminded of Jethro Tull's 'Benefit' for some strange reason.

This is only just a little quicker than stoner speed, but it contains many of those elements including compressed riffs, yet all with a psychedelic bent. There is a great deal of space within the arrangements, and although Nikolay does not have the most melodic or interesting voice, this album is quite compelling, due in many ways to the innocent naivety of it all. There is no force here, no pressure, rather an honest band playing as if they are in a rehearsal room for the sheer pleasure of doing just that. Vocals are sometimes in Russian, sometimes English, and they even break into good old fashioned Seventies punk in 'How?'. This is an underground band with plenty of Western influences and if it were not for the language one would never believe this was from anywhere but the UK. This is a solid album which provides a good base for what was to come, but probably not the one to start with if coming across this band for the first time.

 A Moment of Weakness by GREY MOUSE album cover Studio Album, 2021
3.98 | 4 ratings

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A Moment of Weakness
Grey Mouse Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

I first came across Russian band Grey Mouse in 2020, with the release of the single Better Than Me, from the (then) upcoming album A Moment of Weakness. I admit that I knew nothing about the band, and from wherever I saw the single shared, the thing that grabbed my interest was the cover art as it immediately reminded me of another mouse ? or rather mice ? Mice on Stilts, to be precise. I listened to the song, and (of course) it sounded nothing like Mice on Stilts. Furthermore, when I dipped into their back catalogue, it seemed to sound nothing like anything the band had released previously either. Grey Mouse have been a constantly evolving entity (in terms of their music and personnel) since 1990, or thereabouts, with their leader, Alexey Chunikhin, being the only constant.

The biggest difference between A Moment of Weakness and what I've listened to from their previous releases is the vocals. Apart from being a far more song-based album than previously, the vocals of Mikhail Kudrey couldn't be more different from previous vocalists; and not just because of his gender, but in tone, mood, style - everything! Kudrey has an incredibly expressive voice that couldn't fit the music of this album more perfectly. And the music? Well, yes, that has definitely changed. Stylistically, I guess it still has the progressive psychedelic base that has always been there ? but it really is just a base now. The backbone supporting a complete work that has elements of folk, doom, stoner, country, blues, metal and goth. And though electric instruments are used, the feel throughout is more acoustic. It's sparse and expansive, with space being used as effectively as any instrument in the mix. This means that when the sound becomes fuller or more electric, it has a great deal more impact than it would otherwise.

If Kudrey provides one of the star turns here, the other is certainly Uliana Volkova, whose playing of the cello provides so much of the haunting and melancholic nature of the music. Cello has never sounded so good, nor been so integral, to a rock album. Between Kudrey's vocals soaring over the top, like a more subdued Bruce Dickinson, and Volkova's cello providing dramatic flourishes underneath, the rhythm section are working full-time, and sounding fantastic. They sound as good playing with the flow of the music, or against it. I love the way that sometimes the rhythm section are playing a quite up tempo beat that directly contrasts with the downbeat guitar, vocals and cello. Two drummers play on the album, each with their own style, but neither imposes that style on the music, so that if you're not paying attention, you probably wouldn't notice.

This is the kind of album that I can imagine there may be some readers questioning why it is being reviewed on a progressive website, but to my ears it definitely fits the bill. Too heavy to be called prog folk, and not metal enough to be called prog metal, it has the sensibilities of both, with that constant undercurrent of psychedelia that is reminiscent of The Doors at their most (self) destructive. If push came to shove and I had to compare them to any other band, it would probably be Indukti. Both bands have a sound that is one part melancholy, and one part menace, and play a heavy style of prog folk, bordering on metal. Indukti has the violin, and Grey Mouse has the cello, so this does make it even easier to make the comparison ? but that is certainly not the main reason I am reminded of Indukti. On the other hand, while not ever sounding stuck in the past like some retro bands, Grey Mouse definitely evoke bands of the '70s, such as the aforementioned Doors, as well as Spooky Tooth and Black Sabbath.

None of this seems apparent in the opening track, the instrumental Backwater, which is solely played by band leader Chunikhin on guitar. But as the second track begins with similar guitar stylings, and then the full band, it becomes clear. This is something special. Never explosive, but always incendiary, the music is constantly flickering in intensity, and as hypnotic as staring at the flames of a fire in the darkness. Dark Road reminds me a little of Acoustic Verses era Green Carnation. Better Than Me follows, being the song that introduced me to the band - and it's actually my least favourite song on the album! My favourite part of this song is the change that occurs partway through, and this is a trick the band plays often throughout the album. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know how a song is going to go, but Grey Mouse definitely do not stick to conventions, and some of their surprises are delicious!

On The Run begins sounding almost industrial, or like a dark ambient piece, before hitting a Sabbath-like groove. Rat Race, on the other hand, has an introduction that sounds caught somewhere between the jangle of indie pop and the gallop of metal. This constant variation in style is impressive given how the band manages to maintain an overall consistency in sound and mood, and maintains interest in the album throughout its length, where the darkness and melancholy might be otherwise overbearing or overwhelming. A Moment of Weakness doesn't have a moment of weakness for me, and is an album in near constant rotation. No matter what I listen to, I seem to find myself returning to this album. It's deceptively simple sounding, with enough complexity and variation to keep me coming back for more.

Thanks to rivertree for the artist addition. and to kev rowland for the last updates

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