Mutemath has always struck me as overwhelmingly talented for how underwhelmingly popular they are. They had that awesome backwards music video for “Typical” on MTV quite a few years ago; what happened after that? They seemed to fall off the map completely. Of course that’s according to the average music listener, and I would not consider myself to be the latter. The minute I saw that video I was hooked, and the minute I saw them perform at St. Louis’ Pointfest in September 2007 I was floored. I’ve kept tabs on them ever since and am always speechless after their shows.
Yeah, bands can sound great on their recorded albums, but when a band is better in a live setting… that’s how you know they’re truly talented. And can we talk about drummer Darren King, who quite literally Duct -tapes protective headphones on his ears before he begins a set? And quite literally crowdsurfs on his floor tom? And quite literally destroys his kit at the end of every set the band plays? But I digress. What I’m really trying to say is this: Mutemath is awesome and you should definitely buy this album and a ticket to a show the next time they’re in a city near you.
Mutemath seem to produce music at a slow and steady pace, with Mutemath coming out in 2006, Armistice in 2009, and finally Odd Soul in 2011. There are a couple EPs thrown into the mix, but for the most part the band takes their time. And with good reason, too. There is so much depth to every song they produce. With vocals, guitars, bass and drums, and handfuls of synthy beats and ethereal sounds, the attention to detail is warranted. Odd Soul, in typical Mutemath fashion, starts with heavy distortion, thick bass drum beats and Paul Meany’s screaming, soulful voice. I can imagine The Black Keys being a muse for this album; the bluesy vocals and dark, sexy bass lines are enough to make anyone shake their hips.
“Prytania” is an upbeat rocker repeating the words “loaded gun” and “Blood Pressure” repeats its title to the sounds of slide guitar. Next is “Heads Up.” Are you seeing the pattern here? Mutemath has something to prove with this album and they’re using strong words to do it. “All Or Nothing” showcases a softer side, with the talent of Meany’s haunting falsetto. With less distortion on his voice than usual, this song is a little bit sparse and shows the audience a stripped down, personal side. “Sunray,” an instrumental interlude, breaks the album in two, with the first half being a little more organic and the second more spacey and traditional to the band’s typical sound. “Quarantine” rages on for seven minutes before the album comes to a close at a lengthy fifty minutes with “In No Time.” Just as “Odd Soul” is the perfect opener, “In No Time” is the perfect closer. I’m a firm believer in listening to albums from start to finish, and start to finish only. Odd Soul is an excellent example of why – it fits so brilliantly together. Buy it, listen to it, soak it up, dance around and rock it hard.
http://mutemath.com/ - Be sure to check out the music video for “Blood Pressure.”