The fall season of 2009 has been one full of new releases. From every
genre fans have been inundated with new music to fill their ears.
However it seems that some of the new releases have been in haste.
With the caliber falling short of the previous albums, some of these
ears were slightly disappointed. However, this was not the case when
New Orleans natives Mute Math released their second full length
LP. Having previously blown everyone away with their self-titled album,
the band clearly and easily struck gold again with Armistice.
It's refreshing when you find a band that bears no comparison to
another. They are so brilliant and ingenious that they have eternally
set themselves apart. Mute Math is a band that, since their inception,
has been on a completely different level than the rest. From the first
song "The Nerve" on the new album, you already know this
piece of work came from that level. The energy in the song is insane.
When it's mixed with a bit of body-grooving beats, it makes an unbelievable
trip. The chanted chorus "set it on fire," becomes a permanent
part of your subconscious. And what keeps the flow all together is
a great bluesy guitar riff. Now "Backfire" comes in at #2,
but is most definitely my #1 on the album. The boys are taking a shot
on a bit of dance beats. The blues riff changed into more of a slower
R&B drawl. They take that R&B drawl and set it as a base under
the aforementioned dance beats. What results is the next addiction
for fans hankering for another "Typical."
If you're a victim of pop culture then you've already heard #4 "Spotlight."
This is the perfect reintroduction (or introduction for some) for
the band into the scene. The tempo in this song is incredibly fast.
All the way down to the hand claps midway through that have got to
come from someone full on Red Bull. Its melodic nature and catchy
hooks make it easy to see why it hit the scene first. This is one
of those songs in which it's hard to tell the difference between Paul's
(lead vox/keys) keyboard and a guitar. But that again shows you the
strength of their musicianship. Despite the ease that the band seems
to have with crazy beats and quick tempos, there are a few slower
songs on the album. One of the more beautiful ones is "Pins And
Needles." The stronger elements for this number are the keys,
programming, and percussion. The delicate drums almost carry the song
all by themselves, but the hint of keys and a few effects truly polish
it off. The final finishing accent is the orchestral section. It may
only cover the last 30 seconds of the song, but it is magical.
For the title track they broke the norm and stuck "Armistice"
at #10 (would you really expect anything else?). When you start a
song off with purely hand claps and a very slight touch of percussion
you're going to grab anyone's attention. Eventually the rest of the
members join in, but it's that beat that holds the song together.
And if that wasn't enough, once you finally make it to the chorus,
you're greeted with a couple brass instruments, one of which goes
on a little boogie solo, just to make sure you're still moving. At
the end of the album we've got "Burden" that starts off
quiet and slow. It stays like that for about 30 seconds, and then
out comes that Mute Math twist. The juicy part is that lead guitar
that maintains a fairly simple chord progression, yet manages to twang
it out a few times. And then about half way through [the song] goes
all raw-Hendrix style on you. One norm that the band did follow
was putting the extended song at the end of the album. This one comes
in at 9:05. The initial song takes you through about four of those
nine minutes, after which is a nice instrumental interlude. Everything
mellows out and then the latter half is what I believe would be a
Mute Math lullaby. Granted, the lyrics speak of "devil,"
it's the soft strings, mixed with Paul's perfect voice and enchanting
effects that give it its child-like simplicity.
For a second full length album and essentially their 4th gift of
music to the world, I think this one had the biggest bow. Mute Math
got us started and Armistice is keeping the bar raised and
the fans enthralled.
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