El histrionismo de Mutts es ya conocido por estos lares. Hemos recibido también este su segundo álbum: Separation anxiety, un nuevo ejercicio de equilibrios entre Art-Rock, Metal, Post-Grunge y el Pop más vodevilesco. Es decir, algo así como una reencarnación de la actitud y los sonidos de Frank Zappa adaptados a los tiempos que corren, tratando temas más o menos escabrosos y diciendo las cosas con una claridad meridiana. La música de Mutts es un auténtico torbellino de emociones, casi siempre aderezado por la energía más vitalista.
Como su anterior disco, este Separation anxiety puedes conseguirlo vía Bandcamp, pero también en múltiples formatos, físicos o digitales. Visita su Bandcamp y encontrarás toda la información sobre él.
“Separation Anxiety, whose cover art and several songs were inspired by Robert Frost’s poem, “Mending Wall,” is the most topical Mutts release to date. Maimone’s lyrics address divisions among class, political affiliation, religion, the media, and having recently come out to his family:”Having grown up playing sports, attended Catholic schools and worked in a conservative corporate environment in my early twenties, it took awhile to get honest with myself” states Maimone. “But over the last [several] years, my self-perception evolved so drastically that change itself became a muse.”
“Eventually, I felt comfortable enough with myself to write about homosexuality in [artistic] context. For example, [Pray for Rain album cut] “Blind Truth” is a satire sung from the perspective of a closeted public figure whose position rests entirely on the thing he’s denying.” On Separation Anxiety, Maimone is more direct: “Uninvited” is about his experience with his Catholic background as he came out; “Tire Swing Blues” was written about his apprehension in coming out to close family and friends.
Mike Maimone is feeling an increased sense of liberation as a songwriter: “Mutts has always been an unfiltered release of emotion and energy through honest music and lyrics. With Separation Anxiety, I finally feel like no subject is off limits, and that I can write about my deepest concerns, sorrows and joys regardless of subject matter.”
Separation Anxiety was added to rotation at enough college radio stations in it’s first month to make the CMJ Top Adds chart at #15 on August 21. The next week, it received enough plays to debut at #134 on the CMJ Top 200, making it the second Mutts release of 2012 to chart at college radio. Separation Anxiety joins debut Mutts LP Pray for Rain, which charted for six weeks to open the year, peaking at #107.
Maimone also designed the album artwork. As earlier noted, the front cover is inspired by Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” One ongoing theme in Separation Anxiety is the paradox between needing to feel connected to other people, and needing to posess a sense of individuality. The back cover combines “The Declaration of Independence” and “The Misses Mary & Hannah Murray” by John Trumbull, inviting listeners to ponder whether we’d have the same sort of divisive culture if our nation’s founding “fathers” had been a more diverse group.
Separation Anxiety is available on CD, split-color “Mending Wall” vinyl, and for name-your-price download directly from Mutts at http://download.muttsmusic.com. It is also available at Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, and several stores throughout the Midwest” (muttsmusic.com)
A pesar de no ser un tipo de música en la que estemos muy versados e incluso ni siquiera demasiado iniciados, le vamos a dedicar un espacio a Pray for rain (2011), el disco de debut de Mutts, el trío de Chicago que tuvo a bien contactarnos vía mail, lo cual ya es un acicate suficiente para hacerlo.
A medio camino entre el Rock más duro y clásico (Jesse, Not ready), el Post-Grunge (Fool) y el Pop más escenificadamente histriónico (Done it again, D.O.B., Real bright, Putting on a show), la música de Mutts transcurre en medio de torbellinos sonoros enérgica y sin más limitaciones que la que su propia creatividad les impone. Podéis conocer su sonido pinchando en su Bandcamp.
“Mutts have been making some noise lately. About a month ago, I remember seeing their name somewhere and since then, there hasn’t been a span of more than three days when I haven’t seen or heard something from or about them and for damn good reason. They’ve released consistently great music for a while now, blending the most deranged sensibilities of Tom Waits and Man Man into some sort of nightmarish bluesy post-punk – and it’s never sounded better than it does on their upcoming release, Pray for Rain.
Pray for Rain opens as explosively as it possibly can with “Fool” and from that moment onwards, it becomes clear Mutts aren’t holding anything back on this one. The first time I heard “Fool” it absolutely tore my head off; the fact it still does is indicative of a surprising staying power which is something that often proves to be the downfall of bands that could be (incorrectly) scraped into the “novelty act” tag. However, here the songwriting, musicianship, and arrangements are transcendent enough to avoid that. Every member is a powerhouse at commanding and finessing their individual talent and it shows in abundance at the immediate outset of this album as well as its closing moments, and everywhere in between.
“Fool” is followed by “Not Ready,” which is a fine song, but at times becomes weighed down by the somewhat distracting instrumental proficiency, especially in the case of the somewhat unbelievable drumming. However, “DOB” gets things back on pace and becomes extremely reminiscent of the fairly fantastic Mister Heavenly debut from earlier on this year. With “DOB” Mutts simplifies, exercising a restraint missing from “Not Ready” that makes it a much more engaging song on record. While I’m sure “Not Ready” is an absolute destroyer live, on record it’s “DOB” that works more on record. It amplifies a sense of eeriness that lends itself well to the band’s off-kilter carnival-barker aesthetic, and it’s wonderful.
The next three tracks, “Save Us,” “Throwback,” and “Blind Truth” all sustain the somewhat minimalist and extremely haunting atmosphere that has already been established, but none as effectively as when frontman Mike Maimone half-croons, half-growls “Hallelujah, she will save us” over an undercurrent of really sparse and minor piano work. “Throwback” is probably Pray for Rain’s most accessible and least-engaging moment. It’s a fine song but it just doesn’t work too well in the context of the album, surrounded by songs that provide Mutts a recognizable identity. While “Blind Truth” continues the poppy accessibility of “Throwback” it also improves upon it vastly, with sharp drum breakdowns and a snappy melody line and some fierce playing.
However, it’s “Done It Again” where Mutts really get back on pace (Download the track below). There’s a sense of creeping suspenseful dread that sustains itself in Mutts’ best songs on Pray for Rain and this is one of the strongest examples. It’s a mid-tempo barn-burner that plays on Mutts’ best strengths unabashedly and makes the track an easy highlight, especially with the beautiful mid-section that descends into a lullaby-like piano line that carries the song all the way to its explosive-burst conclusion. It’s by far the albums most beautiful moment and as it progresses it expands, swelling into strings and getting torn open. It’s not only one of the best songs on the album but one of the best songs I’ve heard all year.
“Real Bright” finds the band returning to their more poppy sensibilities, only this time they have the sense to infuse it with the stronger elements of their darker material and although the chorus completely overwhelms the verses, it’s still a fine song. “Jessy,” the ensuing song, doesn’t fare quite as well. It’s probably the strangest song on Pray for Love, awash with distorted vocals and funk keyboards, and while it’s entertaining and intriguing in equal measure, it just doesn’t hold up to the craft and quality of the rest of the songs here and drags on for just a little too long.
“Show of the Century” serves as a spoken-word interlude to open up album-closing “Putting On A Show.” While the former is surprisingly effective, with an introduction like that you’d need to end with a song deserving of the introduction. While “Putting on a Show” comes close, it just doesn’t come close enough until the last quarter of the song. That last quarter makes for a fine finale but it’s a ways to wait and leaves one wishing for something just a little stronger.
While Pray for Rain may not be topping any year-end lists, it’s an important step forward for a band whose popularity ascension is already beginning. The strongest tracks here are the darkest but the weakest ones aren’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a strong showing from a band still wanting to stretch boundaries and test their limits despite being a few releases into their discography and that’s not something that should be looked away from. Mutts are here and they need to be reckoned with.
Mutts’ record release for Pray for Rain will be tomorrow at the Subterranean in Chicago and I’ve got it on good authority that the band puts on a hell of a live show. Go at your own risk” (playgroundmisnomer.com)