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Mute Math

Mute Math

(Warner Bros.; US: 26 Sep 2006; UK: Available as import)

Mute Math finds its greatest strength in its ability to combine so many styles of music, from New Wave to prog to arena rock to alternative. On its debut full-length, the band runs through these styles smoothly, but while the musicians display considerable aplomb, the music doesn’t always remain engaging. At its finest, as with “Typical”, Mute Math seems capable of bringing an entire stadium to its feet, of being at the forefront of a new round of ambitious rock. But the album can’t keep that up for its full fourteen tracks. Each song contains plenty of elements, but the full pieces begin to drag after the first 30 minutes or so. While you could point out any number of bands the group might have referenced (and any number of places Mute Math stays its own), it all melds into one lengthy sound. The problem here isn’t the music so much as the album construction—there’s no ebb and flow, no build and release, even though any given track nails it. Take their ambitious music and their yearning lyrics, and Mute Math could make a huge, epic record, but all they’ve done here is show us they’re capable of that without completely delivering.


Justin Cober-Lake lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with his wife, kids, and dog. His writing has appeared in a number of places, including Stylus, Paste, Chord, and Trouser Press. His work made its first appearance on CD with the release of Todd Goodman's first symphony, Fields of Crimson. He's recently co-founded the literary fly-fishing journal Rise Forms.

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