Great Mutations – Cheap Stuff

Great Mutations - Cheap Stuff

Great Mutations – Cheap Stuff

Looking over band sites and publicity for a while now, I often wondered what happened to the music video. It seemed as if a lot of bands I was hearing about either didn’t think promoting any videos they had made was worth the effort or they hadn’t actually made any that they felt worthy of sharing with their public audience. So when the Cheap Stuff publicity pack arrived in my listings and I started taking a look and listen at it, the one thing that really caught my attention (and before I write anything more let me say that I did definitely listen to the album too) is the video for Great Mutations‘ “Vessel” song. I accept that I probably quite often don’t research bands as completely as I should and that I miss a  lot of things, including videos, but Great Mutations deserve some kind of award for what they’ve done with the visuals for “Vessel”. A lot of bands have strung together old video and film footage to provide a backdrop for their music, but Great Mutations have done it really well. Some of you may not agree, or think that using old film and video footage is a bit of a cliche or some other reasons, but I just like it and think it complements the song really well too.

About the other 10 tracks on Cheap Stuff…what Great Mutations are is a no frills guitar band that knows how to put an added bite into its songs and musicality, right from the opening bars of first track “Five Days For Nights”, and the rest of the album keeps that momentum going, pared-down six string melodies performed with deceptive skill. You might miss the string section (I expect this is actually a keyboard) that introduces “Still Life”, the country rock rhythm of “Ours Was A Peaceful Land”, and it will take more than one listen to figure out exactly what “Maids Of Honor” is about, with its phased production and lengthy phone call ending. This is what I decided I get about Great Mutations: while they may have a past that includes MathRock or some more effusive indie productions, they’re doing what they’re good at and while they may not find themselves making waves in the upper echelons of the music press and airwaves, they’ve made a quality album that caught my own mood this week and that I’ll listen to again, for no other reason than that I want to. I suppose that my only actual criticism is that calling the album Cheap Stuff is a little misleading, there are definitely hidden costs incurring with Great Mutations.