The debut album from Mute Math follows 2004’s highly successful 7 track e.p ‘Reset’ which sold 30,000 copies. If you’re looking for a breakthrough band in 2006, then look no further than New Orleans Mute Math, they’ve got the lot. Released from the clutches of Warner/ Word, who it seems were pressurising the band against their will into a more overt Christian musical stance, the band severed the ties with the record label to embark on an altogether more secular journey.
Combing the musical landscape for varied influences, sounds and moods and borrowing heavily from vocalist Paul Meany’s previous outfit Earthsuit, Mute Math’s debut is a veritable smorgasbord of synthesised beats, ambient electronica and melodic indie rock nous. Meany’s vocals hark back to the golden era of 80’s pop when The Police and Paul Young ruled the airwaves, yet to merely liken Mute Math to a nostalgia band is way off the mark. Other comparisons that are well worth steering clear of are those with Radiohead. Although ultimately there are micro-similarities, Mute Math has that extra dimension; they harness the eclecticism to dynamic arrangements and hooky compositions, something that the inaccessible Radiohead consistently fail to do. Some of the ‘Reset’ era experimentalism has waned-remember the pure instrumental indulgence of the Chemical Brothers style title track -being replaced instead by a more mature song orientated approach. The harmonic ring of guitars in ‘Typical’ or the haunting syncopated rock back beat of ‘Chaos’ is neatly balanced with an ear for both hook and melody. ‘Noticed’ has enough new wave pop references, but remains modern and succinct whilst ‘Stare at the Sun’, a seven minute epic, despite its length and potential tedium, proves inspirational with its modern mix and interesting ideology.
Mute Math’s debut is fantastically innovative, yet remains remarkably and comfortingly familiar. Accessible enough to favour radio airplay yet refreshingly different, it’s only a matter of time before they become a name on everyone’s lips