MUTEMATH, ‘War’ | Track Review
Alternative rock band MUTEMATH compels on “War,” the third single from their fifth studio album, ‘Play Dead.’
During college, when Facebook groups were still a thing, I formed a group called the multidimensional music clique. The main premise was discovering new music, or established bands and musicians I was purposely unfamiliar with. Long story short, MUTEMATH, an alternative band that’s been around for a while, hasn’t been on my radar until now – the clique failed me! Why? Just one of those things. As sad as that may be, Paul Meany and company strike gold on “War,” the third single from their September 8 album, Play Dead.
The grooves and instrumental riffs on “War” are irresistibly delicious. Musicians often talk about being in the pocket, and MUTEMATH certainly is on “War.” There’s no fights about that. Furthermore, frontman Paul Meany sounds terrific here. There’s an easiness about the way he sings that goes against the grain of many rock-band frontmen. It’s not that he isn’t commanding, but he doesn’t rely on histrionics to fuel the fire, which makes “War” refreshing.
The pros don’t stop with grooves, riffs, and vocals. The sounds are amazing. Not only is the standard rock instrumentation in play, but the keyboards – the synths – adds another dimension. Furthermore, MUTEMATH isn’t married only to the standard, conformist aspects of rocks, but truly explore beyond.
Are there any glaring cons? No, none. Most of the cons are aimed at traditionalists, potentially… If you prefer more traditional rock with more edge, perhaps “War” isn’t for you. “War” is edgy, but not in the traditional, ‘balls-to-the-wall’ rock sense. It’s certainly not edgy in a hellish means like metal. Also, some traditionalists may not like how liberal MUTEMATH is using a variety of sounds. Again, I’m trying to find something NOT to like about “War.”
MUTEMATH shines on “War,” no questions asked. The musicianship all around is awe-inspiring. Being personally unfamiliar with MUTEMATH, let alone their discography, they’ve certainly earned a new fan. Sure, the dedicated may be quick to criticize the loss of my MUTEMATH virginity, but as a newbie, in the context of music I’ve heard in 2017, this is good stuff.