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Mute Math
September 20, 2006 - The Showbox - Seattle, WA
by Christopher Patterson
09.24.06

Mute Math is another one of those bands, like Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah, whose instant popularity is solely due to the free access and sharing of the internet. Created in 2003 in a long distance collaboration between New Orleans artist Paul Meany (singer) and Springfield, Missouri artist Darren King, the band soon became known for mixing genres from every field of music—from industrial to reggae, rave and psychedelic.

The band’s predilection to mixing genre types creates an atmospheric ambience of music to the audience, revealing to them a suspension of voices that attempts to combine every genre into a single epic. Mute Math’s songs that feature both funky bass riffs as well as industrial guitar chords are audacious and establish the band’s multiform talent. They even use an instrument made out of duct tape and what looks like a soundboard in order to make high pitched electronic squeals.

Meany as both the singer and keyboardist (he also plays the keytar) is an effervescent geyser of energy and caprice. While some lead singers dance on stage, Meany leaps about fanatically, diving into the crowd with his face captured in a massive array of animated expressions. His catchy lyrics match the atmosphere of the band, and his high-toned howls are most always followed by a synthesizer screech or one of King’s extraordinary drum solos. 

There is however, a danger in mixing so many genres. At times a song will begin as psychedelic, then add in some Latin rhythm, then new wave, then electric. Half-way through the song the listeners are too overwhelmed by a combination of styles to enjoy the rest of the song. Fortunately, at times of such overstuffed techniques, the rhythm of Darren King bails out the cacophony, as he is able to suddenly pause or continue the entire range of instruments with a single drum beat.