Mute Math – Control

Mute Math

The trio of Mute Math, from New Orleans, promises to deconstruct rock instrumentals and put them together in “radical new configurations.” Well, that’s not really true on “Control,” a catchy, radio-friendly song. But it’s clear from a brief scan of the band’s other songs that intricate rhythm with an electronic foundation provide the actual framework of the sound. Perhaps “Control” is a fluke, but it’s definitely the catchiest track the band offers.

When this song starts, I’m excited. It’s flowing nicely along keyboards and catchy percussion, with shouted exclamation as the vocals. Then the pretty standard vocals kick in, and the song ends up riding pretty traditional guitars and bass. The vocals aren’t bad; they’re just pretty typical for radio-friendly rock: kinda lofty, well produced. But for a band that claimed to focus on instrumentation, the vocals are too much of a focus. Thankfully, the percussion here keeps this song exciting, as the rhythm sounds organic but feels almost electronic, very intricate and detailed. There’s enough keyboards in the background to give the song a unique feel as well.

I’m reminded, on this song, of Jimmy Eat World, a band that clearly is radio friendly these days but still does enough unique things to keep the respect of the indie crowd that values originality. Singer Paul Meany for Mute Math has a nice voice, but I would have loved to hear it used less and hear more focus on the rhythm and unique flow of the song, similar to how it started. Regardless, I can’t dislike this song. It feels so well performed and clean that you have to figure Mute Math has been doing this for a long, long time.