Warner Bros. Records
MUTEMATH’s 2006 self-titled album is a cyborg; a beautiful blend of organic and electronic sounds. The opening 1:13 of “Collapse” is evidence enough of that. Darren King provides stuttering, syncopated drum beats amidst an ethereal electronic backdrop. There are no words here — this introduction merely serves as foreshadowing of things to come throughout the rest of the album. And then suddenly, there it is: Greg Hill’s opening guitar riff of “Typical” cutting clear through the chaos like the first rays of dawn creeping over the horizon. “Typical” will be the song that most casual listeners identify with. Its mixture of alternative rock/pop makes it easily accessible to virgin ears. Paul Meany’s lyrics have a soulful quality about them and carry a very specific weight, making them prime Facebook status material.
Make no mistake though, not everything on this album follows the typified cookie-cutter rock song pattern. “You Are Mine” is a brooding, melancholy piece on love and heartbreak; you can almost see the raindrops snaking their way down your bedroom window. I’m sure, in a dark room somewhere, Death Cab for Cutie are kicking themselves in the ass for not writing this song. The album finishes with “Reset,” a humming, breathing example of electronica. Imagine for a second that you are Keanu Reeves and you’ve just stepped into the Matrix. After defeating Agent Smith in a flurry of choreographed martial arts, you strut down CGI streets like the bad-ass savior of mankind that you know you are. This is exactly what this song feels like.
Those in the industry know that labeling music as one genre or another is a necessary evil in order to express something as intangible as music and sound. This album goes a long way to blur the ever-fading line between separate genres even further.