The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Mute Math Leaps Over Competition

3 min read


Jaw dropping, ridiculous and incredible are the musical experience that is MUTEMATH.  For those that already listen to them: congratulations on operating ahead of the musical curve. For those that haven’t heard of them: buying their self-titled album, which was released last fall, is worth more than the $12 it costs. At the very least, burn it from a friend (if you don’t have any friends, find me and I will burn you a copy).
The band, originally from New Orleans, consists of vocalist/keyboardist Paul Meany who also uniquely plays the keytar, a keyboard and guitar combination which hangs around the neck; Greg Hill on guitar, Roy Mitchell-Cardenas on bass and Darren King (who seems to be a reincarnation of  Keith Moon, drummer extraordinaire of The Who) on drums.
The album is consistently strong.  There is no need to skip songs.  The first track “Collapse” is a haunting instrumental introduction.  While this intro can lull one into a false sense of calmness, the second track “Typical” is an upbeat number which prepares the listener for the rest of the album. Other highlights include “Noticed” and “Control.”
If “Collapse” holds the listener’s hand while introducing the album, then “Reset,” the last song, is the brother who says goodbye by punching his sibling in the arm (maybe that’s just my brother).  Regardless, it’s powerful, full of life and leaves the listener wanting more.
MUTEMATH combines Coldplay-esque melodies with energetic instrumentation, which allows the music to be played in a bedroom or at the gym.  Their sound is original and definitely eclectic, although not exactly experimental.  Example: the band lists Bjork as an influence, though they aren’t quite up to par on that one yet.
However, there should be a warning label on the album. The energy present on the disc is not half of the energy present at a MUTEMATH concert.  While their sound may not be too experimental, their style is.  Even if the album doesn’t strike a chord, seeing them live might.
MUTEMATH is currently the opening act for The Fray, a slightly cheesy piano pop-rock band.  Yes, in order to see them, a ticket to The Fray must be purchased. However, MUTEMATH should not be an opening act.  They outplay The Fray, and would probably do so to any other band unfortunate enough to go up against them.
MUETMATH’s melodies and lyrics are both great, but for this band, it’s really all about the instruments.  They don’t just know their own instruments intimately; they know each other’s instruments as well. When at the keyboard, lead vocalist Meany hops over the instrument while playing, and also plays the keytar while dancing on top of the keyboard.  Drummer King has to duct tape his headphones to his head to keep them from falling off.  His drumming looks like an uncontrollable seizure, but there can be no doubt that he knows exactly what he is doing.  The guitarist can play the keyboard and the bassist can play the drums.