I actually went back and accessed my old Myspace account blog before writing this review. Buried deep in the unread reaches of a dead blog I found what I was looking for: my November 2007 5-star review for Mutemath’s debut album. I still remember the night I discovered Mutemath, taking a cold Idaho winter walk to Albertson’s from my duplex. The album was so perfect the way it mixed atmospherics with rock and electronics. It’s still one of my favorites.
Two albums later I still love Mutemath, but I have to remind myself that I only hear an album like their debut once or twice a year. With that said, there’s nothing wrong with their newest effort. It’s heavier on the rock-y element than I would prefer, but I’m sure it makes for great summer windows-down driving. That’s clear right away on “Pyrtania”, a pulsating rocker that is probably a beast live. Lead single, and possible best track, “Blood Pressure” seems to borrow heavily from the bluesy rock that Black Keys brought to the mainstream in 2010. “All or Nothing” is the closest we get to circa-2007 Mutemath.
There’s a definite pep to this album, on full display on songs like “Allies” and “Walking Paranoia”. “Walking Paranoia” even gets a little funky. Whether or not it’s the second or third best Mutemath album can be debated, but it’s definitely the most fun. Mutemath also brings the Christian-yet-not-a-Christian-band element to the table, which I’ve written here about liking. This can be seen as they deal with religious pressure (“why can’t you, do a little more for Jesus?”), fear the untimely return of the Lord (“I’m a nervous wreck/Jesus is coming back/gonna catch me at the porno rack”), and deal with the searching souls of the world (“Where’s your heart gone, and where’s your soul? Where did all your faith go?…We’ll find it in no time at all.”).
Ultimately, Mutemath is now three for three. They may never live up to their debut to me, but who cares? They’re dependable, they’re fun, they’re interesting, and occasionally they are moving. Give it a shot.