Review: Mute Math, “Armistice”
Well this one has been long overdue. After nearly three years in and out of the studio and performing to countless crowds at numerous venues, Mute Math is back with what many would call their third album. In all technical terms, this is only their second album, with their debut EP being only seven tracks. But who cares, it’s Mute Math. I’ve been a fan of Paul Meany’s work since well before Mute Math, starting with a slightly obscure Christian band from the early 2000s called Earthsuit. But Earthsuit is long gone and over time what has grown out of the few members is quite different, yet fantastic in and of itself.
Now I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy the self-titled record as much as it seems everyone else did, mainly because the album didn’t feel like a full album of Mute Math songs. Every other track was an instrumental and acted as an interlude to the next. While these instrumentals assured the talent of the band, the tracks just felt thrown in and not really a part of the overall album. On Armistice, each track is a full song, incorporating vocals and sounds all the way through, making it appear (and sound) like an overall more cohesive effort. The album is chock full of solid rock tracks, and highlights like the opener “The Nerve” and catchy “Backfire” prove that the band can write a hit. But it’s also impressive to see songs like “Clipping” and the soft ballad “Pins and Needles” that have elements of violin and strings to compliment the electronic synth sounds mixed with rock. A few tracks can get a bit monotonous, such as the rocker “Goodbye” has a chorus that is not much more than simply “if you say goodbye / if you say goodbye” repeated. Another bright spot on the album is the title track, which incorporates horns and other instruments to bring a very unique sound, which isn’t new for such a band as Mute Math. The band stretches their talents more than ever, and it proves to be an enjoyable sonic ride. The other ballad on the album, “Lost Year” can even be acceptable in a worship sense, slow and melody driven.
The already-hit “Spotlight” is here as well, and a very upbeat “Electrify” make for more highlights on this stellar album, and the record finishes with a nine minute epic entitled “Burden”. The song incorporates Mute Math’s signature instrumentals through a good portion of the song, and serves as a fitting bookend for the album. With Armisitice, Mute Math has beaten themselves, and this is the return that fans will likely embrace fully, and the band is sure to pick up new fans as well. Welcome back Mute Math, you’ve surely been missed.
Star Rating: 4½ out of 5