Good Music: MuteMath

Friends, today I will be introducing you to one of my favorite bands. So much of a favorite, in fact, they’re one of my top three. Since you’re curious, my top three are MuteMath, Relient K, The Classic Crime, and Switchfoot (my top three has four). Without further ado, I give you MuteMath.

A Brief History

My journey with MuteMath started when they were Earthsuit. I had a Christian music sampler CD and Earthsuit had two songs on it, which lead me to buy their (one) album, which I still proudly own. Earthsuit was very electronic and had a unique sound. They had a dual lead vocal thing going on where one sang and one sort-of rapped, not unlike Linkin Park. When Earthsuit split up, the two main creative talents started MuteMath.

Their first EP, Reset, is enthralling both lyrically and instrumentally. From that EP came their instrumental track Reset which is still a huge hit at their concerts. I think it speaks volumes when a band can move a crowd with just a unique and well crafted tune and no words.

Their next album, MuteMath, was a full length masterpiece that produced many of their biggest hits, including Typical (see below). I listened to this album to death and it is still one of my very favorites. Since then, they’ve put out two other albums, Armistice and Odd Soul. Both are great works that show their growth as artists and as people.

What’s so great about MuteMath?

I will give you three reasons: well-crafted lyrics, music videos, and live shows.

Lyrics: I know this is hugely subjective, but their lyrics really speak to me and are often able to aptly phrase what I’m feeling or thinking. Many of my favorite songs blend frustration with hope. They’re not what you would call a “Christian band” (whatever that means), but their lyrics are definitely infused and inspired by their faith, which I strongly relate to.

Music Videos: With MuteMath you get a package deal, not just good music. They are highly talented and artistic in whatever medium they use, whether in the studio, on video, or live. Take for example this instrumental video promo for Odd Soul featuring only a bass guitar and their drummer.

Or how about this video for Spotlight from their second album. I don’t know how they pulled off this one-take video magic, but it’s pretty fun to watch.

Why yes, that IS a song on the Twilight soundtrack, which was also featured in the movie.

They have many other carefully edited and fun music videos, but by far the best has to be the one for Typical,from their first album. They filmed it in reverse, but he’s singing not-in-reverse. Or something like that. I’m not sure but it’s frickin’ amazing.

Live Shows:  Oh man do these guys know how to put on a live show. They will often go off on instrumental tangents while doing what I can only describe as “going nuts.” Their drummer, Darren King, gets pretty crazy with his drumming. And by that I mean crazy awesome! You know you’re in for a good show when the drummer has to literally tape his headphones onto his head at the beginning of the show. The lead singer, Paul, mainly plays keyboard and keyboard-like instruments (notice in the above video he destroys a keytar- this is not uncommon for them). One of his signature moves is to wildly do handstands on his keyboard during one of the aforementioned nuts-going.

Instrumental acrobatics.

Another popular MuteMath antic is for Darren (the drummer) to crowd surf on a bass drum. I saw this happen with my own two eyes when I first saw them at the House of Blues in Dallas. Here’s a shaky video that someone else took at a different show, as an example:

They are also known for crafting their own makeshift instruments using parts of others or computer components, or whatever they have lying around. They will bust these out during shows and send them into the audience and allow the crazed masses to improvise.

All that to say, I highly recommend that you give MuteMath a try. Even if you don’t listen to their music frequently like I do, look them up when they’re in town and you’ll be treated to a wild and crazy show.

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