Carrots is the former Dimes' first full-length, and first physical product of any kind since 2006's Animal EP netted the quartet a slew of Houston Press music awards and set the local indie-rock community's hearts atwitter long before a "tweet" was anything besides the sound certain birds make. Three years (and one drummer) later, Carrots adds a Flaming Lips-like sense of wonder to the Mammals' propulsive sound. It's a huge-sounding record, with guitars that reach for the sky and towering drum crescendos, and also the somewhat unfortunate side effect of vocals mixed so far down they occasionally sound recorded for an entirely different album. Still, the Mammals play with an infectious, go-for-broke joy that can be very difficult to capture in the studio, and the songwriting - periodically augmented by a woozy brass choir and judiciously applied melodica - recalls both vintage New Order ("Wires & Buttons," "Stay to the Left") and of-the-moment bands like Vampire Weekend ("Confetti," "Dragon's Wagon").
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Late in the album, the slower "The Man in the Cannon" and "Mosquitobot" dip their toes into Brian Eno's warm ambient waters, confirming Young Mammals are willing to try anything in their pursuit of bigger and better things.