Dynamic Houston indie-rockers Young Mammals, who only recently returned to active duty after a lengthy college-induced hiatus, are recovering from the theft of nearly all of guitarist Cley Miller's equipment just as the group was ready to begin work on its first album in nearly three years.
According to Miller, the value of the stolen gear -- two guitars, several pedals and various accessories -- amounts to right at $5,000. At the moment he sounds less than hopeful that he'll see any of it again.
"I filed a police report, but they didn't seem too optimistic about the odds of my gear being recovered," Miller says via email.
The guitarist's efforts scouring Craigslist and local pawnshops have also proved fruitless, he adds. When the equipment was taken, the Mammals had just begun tracking their new album, which would be the first since 2010's Carrots. Miller says several friends -- Marc Spear, Ian Wells, Chad Pinter, John Griffin, Austin Sepulvado, Ryan Hunt and Andrew Lee -- have donated enough equipment that will allow the band to continue working on the album.
"I owe those dudes so much," Miller says. "I don't know if we would have been able to make the LP if they had not have stepped in."
His friends have also set up a Paypal account and are hosting a benefit Saturday evening at Black Hole Coffee House (4504 Graustark), where Miller happens to work. The Mammals and Psychic Palms will perform, and a raffle and silent auction should help raise additional funds.
In somewhat happier news, Miller reports that using the borrowed gear, the Mammals have actually finished tracking their album and hope to release it in the fall; they had been mixing a 7-inch single from the record the day we contacted Miller. Perhaps listen for some of their new stuff Saturday.
Despite being understandably "bummed out" about the theft, Miller says he's in much better spirits now.
"We were pretty determined to not postpone the album, and figured things out as fast as we could," he allows. "The support that people have been giving us since the theft has been incredible, and we are so grateful to have such thoughtful/generous folks in our lives."
He also sent over a list of the gear that was stolen, just in case any of our readers happen across it. See Page 2.