Mute Math - Mute Math (Cover Artwork)

Mute Math

Mute Math: Mute MathMute Math (2006)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: indie_is_better_than_punkindie_is_better_than
(others by this writer | submit your own)

In case you hadn't noticed, electro-rock has become one of the trendiest genres in the current music scene. Even bands that wouldn't normally label themselves as such are experimenting with the genre, using drum machines and synthesizes in otherwise straightforward rock songs. Former somewhat metal .
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In case you hadn't noticed, electro-rock has become one of the trendiest genres in the current music scene. Even bands that wouldn't normally label themselves as such are experimenting with the genre, using drum machines and synthesizes in otherwise straightforward rock songs. Former somewhat metal group Thrice, for instance, incorporated programmed loops and tones into "Red Sky," the closing track on its 2005 album, Vheissu.

Mute Math's self-titled major label debut draws a lot from the sonic landscape of "Red Sky." Though the similarities are likely unintentional, Mute Math, at times, plays like a disc full of spin-offs of that track.

The album opens with the first of four primarily instrumental tracks. "Collapse" is a concise, beat-driven piece that aptly prepares us for the remainder of the album. It runs only slightly over the one-minute mark, yet somehow it is among the record's best.

The next track, "Typical" introduces singer Paul Meany, whose voice is the weakest aspect of the band. It combines the banality of Thrice singer Dustin Kensrue with the modern, more boring Sting.

The Sting influence is most palpable on "Noticed." Meany's style on the track -- from his tone to the odd way he accents certain syllables -- sounds almost exactly like Sting, circa 1999.

His vocals on "Noticed" are actually somewhat enjoyable in comparison to "Typical" and "Stare at the Sun." Whenever Meany evokes Kensrue, as he does on those songs, he pushes his band into the same trap that Thrice often falls into. Both singers, at times, seem to refuse injecting emotion into their vocals, forcing the listener to listen closely to catch dynamic changes.

Mute Math is at its best when it sticks to the instrumental roots displayed on album closer "Reset." Uninhibited by Meany's vocals, the track pulses and flows flawlessly, leaving us wanting more. Though most mainstream fans would ignore an instrumental band, I would like to see the group further explore the direction taken on "Collapse" and "Reset." It might cost the band its contract with Warner Brothers, but it would be for the best.

Ironically though, the highlight of the disc is not an instrumental. "Stall Out," the album's penultimate track, is the closest thing to epic the band has to offer. It begins innocently, with hushed vocals backed by light synthesizer tones and swelling strings, but soon explodes into a symphony of emotion. As the music builds, Meany provides his best vocals on the album, chanting "we are still far from over," perfectly echoing the emotion in the song's lyrics.

I can only imagine how amazing the song would be with a better singer, though.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Not-To-Regret (October 25, 2006)

Ah, so it is recurring, it'll get old like a family guy joke but it's hilarious right now.

Anonymous (October 25, 2006)

spot-on review. this band is great live.

Anonymous (October 25, 2006)

this album is half way decent, but in no way does justice to teir live show. Their drummer is one of the best out their right now, and if you even slightly enjoy their album, you NEED to see their live show. Everyone in the band is extremely talented and deserves to be seen in a setting where they are allowed to be experimental and creative.

colossalbandit (October 24, 2006)

score for review. this is a fucking terrible review. Meany is one of the best aspects of this band. If you close your eyes, he sounds exactly like Sting.. c'mon give me a break. Don't read this review. this is a great pop/electronic album with a lot of cool heavy delay and looping. pick this up.

CallingLondon (October 24, 2006)

did thrice break up? they were definitely more of a hardcore band at first and slowly moved more towards boring, i mean metal.

inagreendase (October 24, 2006)

If I'm calling Thrice anything, it sure as shit isn't going to be "a metal band," and that goes for any point in their career.

Also, the 'though' is completely necessary. You basically describe the song as flawless in the paragraph and then basically debunk it by offering that second thought.

historypeats (October 24, 2006)

Meany's voice is actually great for this type of music, although I agree he goes a little overboard on the Sting worship with "Noticed." I also think that "Stall Out" is overblown, and could have easily been two or three minutes shorter without sacrificing anything.

That all said, this is a really solid record; the slightly-redone songs from the EP actually fit well in here, and a lot of the tracks ("Typical," "Chaos," etc.) are especially great in a live setting. I could listen to the drumlines all day and never get bored.

GlassPipeMurder (October 24, 2006)

look at the other reviews...jones is doing that to all of them.

indie_is_better_than_punk (October 24, 2006)

hmm interesting editing here. i like the "somewhat" before metal. thrice was defintely way more metal than hardcore.

as for that "though" at the end, not necessary.

and mute math is far from math rock. did they actually claim to be?

stevejonestherealbones (October 24, 2006)

this band, with the "mute math, math rock is sooooooo hard and artsy da na na, na na na"

disgusts me to no end.

first time i have been disgusted by a band in a really long time because of the songs they actually wrote

for some reason that song disgusts me as much as davey havok does

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

GlassPipeMurder (October 24, 2006)

i think thrice was a hardcore band.

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