Before releasing the highly acclaimed Quags 'Out In The Community' CD on Paisley Pop, leader Dennis Mitchell kicked around between Tucson, Arizona and the Pacific Northwest, sometimes leading The Wilsons, and other times with another combo called The Bremen Town Musicians. Recorded in 1997 with Larry Crane (Sleater-Kinney, Elliot Smith, Go-Betweens, Crack City Rockers), 'Quagmire Expedition' shows Mitchell's new wave roots with songs that bring to mind early Style Council, XTC, and Elvis Costello. 'The Bremen Town Musicians conjure rich pop melodies and textures that make them sound like seasoned pros.'-Willamette Week. 'an ironic romantic sense of wordplay, a keenly inventive guitar style & knack for melodies whose hooks sink in deep'- Magnet. 'Heavily influenced by classic Britpop, especially the angular guitar work of XTC and the lush, pastoral melodies of the Kinks.'- Tuscon Weekly. BREMEN TOWN MUSICIANS Quagmire Expedition (Bremen Town) PEOPLE WHO TOUT the diversity of the Tucson music scene sometimes come across more as apologists than supporters--call it the 'Well, At Least We're Not Phoenix' syndrome--while spending precious little time examining what makes this or that band unique. Maybe Dennis Mitchell, who with his combo The Wilsons notched a fair amount of local kudos awhile back, sensed that transparency. He moved to the Northwest for a spell, put together a new band, and recorded this exceedingly fine set of tunes before making the prodigal trek back home to the Old Pueblo. Well, we're the better for it. Mitchell is an unapologetic pop classicist, right down to his jaunty swagger through The Kinks' goofy chestnut 'Harry Rag.' Vocally, his trembly upper register suggests a younger, less flamboyant Russell Mael (Sparks), with echoes of Robyn Hitchcock and ex-Auteurs Luke Haines surfacing in his singing as well. He weds this to an ironic but romantic sense of wordplay, a keenly inventive guitar style (Mitchell clearly grasps rock's Great Riff Imperative) and a knack for hummable melodies whose hooks sink in deep. And the results, from the creepy faux tango 'The Devil & Me (At A Birthday Party)' to the sproingy, noir-ish swamp pop of 'I Feel' to the insanely catchy, neo-New Wave rocker 'Body Bag' (quite literally, the best musical anti-depressant I've heard in ages) are the kind that not too long ago would have had critics tossing around phrases like 'the new Elvis Costello.' Cliché or not, in this instance it's no half-hearted compliment. You folks better claim Mitchell and his Bremen Town Musicians as your own before he slips away in the night again. --Fred Mills.