Do-it-yourself post-punk band the Deep Freeze Mice released ten records in their decade-long existence, beginning as amateurs with no formal knowledge of what they were embarking on. The original lineup -- guitarist/vocalist Alan Jenkins, bassist Mick Bunnage (of the Statics), keyboardist Sherree Lawrence, and drummer Graham Summers (also of the Statics) -- stayed intact until the release of the band's third record, The Gates of Lunch. After the departure of Summers and the acquisition of replacement Pete Gregory, the lineup remained until their breakup in 1989. Leader Jenkins (who was also involved with the Chrysanthemums and Ruth's Refrigerator during the existence of his primary band) continued afterwards in the Creams and the Thurston Lava Tube. All of Deep Freeze Mice's records were released in small quantities through the band's labels, Mole Embalming and Cordelia.
This version of the debut album by The Deep Freeze Mice was remastered and slightly expanded in 2011. It has a 12 page booklet full of interesting prictures and writing. (The previous downloadable version is almost the same although there's one extra track and "The octagonal rabbit surplus" has been improved.
This is a review from Rate Your Music by someone called Bluehawaiian:
The first LP by this very obscure group from Leicester- probably best known as one of the many acts to feature on the 'legendary' (amongst nerds) Nurse With Wound List (the huge alphabetical list of NWW's influences printed on the inside cover of their '79 debut Chance Meeting on a Dissecting Table of A Sewing Machine and an Umbrella).
The first six songs here are skeletal and simplistic mid-paced pop numbers with humourous and sometimes absurd lyrics. Comparisons could be made with the Buzzcocks and especially The Soft Boys (leader Alan Jenkins' voice has shades of Robyn Hitchcock and just check out those titles- "I Met A Man Who Spoke Like An UCCA Form", "Phylis Is A Protozoon Actually", "Embalming Fluid Fucha"...) but in truth the Mice lacked the technical skill and overall err, musical muscle of the Softs.
Probably the most impressive of these songs is the opener, "Minstrel Radio Yoghurt"- a naive zippy little thing featuring a cute synth melody. Another highlight is "Emile Zola" with its fuzzy guitar, clunky piano and brief feedback coda. The album's first half closes with the aforementioned "I Met A Man Who Spoke Like An UCCA Form" which boasts a longer arrangement than the other songs. Over the course of five minutes it builds from urgent, jangly minor key verses to an extended chorus- the punky, mantric repetition of the title- before bowing out with a spot of weedy, wayward psychedelic guitar noodling.
The seventh track, "The Octagonal Rabbit Surplus", is something else altogether- a 28 minute collage made from tapes the group recorded both at home and in their Polytechnic music department. Spooky stretches of prepared piano and endlessly resonating gongs are interspersed with snippets of more traditional sounding instrumental tunes (I like the piano/marimba duet best) and Jandek-style primitive drum pattering, amongst other things. Cool!
I presume it was this track that earned the Mice their place on the NWW List- indeed, the more avant-garde sections bring to mind those early Nurse classics like Homotopy to Marie and Spiral Insana.
As a bonus on the CD you get a further epic collage ("The Octagonal Rabbit Surplus Surplus") put together by Jenkins at a later date, but this is nowhere near as engaging as the original one.
Overall a nice CD. With very funny sleevenotes.