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Re-Viewed: Mute Math at Park West

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 6, 2006 5:11PM

According to Mute Math’s myspace page, the group has “enough dizzying energy to make the hardest cynics wet their pants”. Well, we will be the first to admit that there was no need for Depends last night at Park West. We wanted to piss ourselves, but we just didn’t believe Mute Math even cared that they were there. Oh, they went through the motions – pulling all the rock star moves. Guitars held over head? Check. Jumping into the crowd? Check. Standing on the drum set and jumping off? Check. It seemed like the hot guy who got us into bed with his Sting vocals and Springsteen looks didn’t really have what it takes to get us off.

2006_10_mutemath.jpgThe band has phenomenal technical skills and creates atmospheric soundscapes, but “Chaos” just kept repeating the same riffs with no resolution in a song that went on too long. Mute Math gleans their influences from everyone in the last forty years and it shows – an insight into a band that hasn’t even started to mature musically. There’s a little Ben Folds on “Noticed” and “Stall Out”. Great guitar licks (“Stare at the Sun”) and massive vocal manipulation don’t cut it when there’s a disconnect between the actions on stage and the emotions that inspire them. It was a band going through the motions to make it to the end of the set.

Paul Meany jumped off stage and ran through the crowd and no one even bothered him! How can emotional distance be illustrated any better? The crowd cheered Mute Math’s long, extended jams, especially at the end of “Control” and the instrumental encore, but were otherwise staring at their shoes.

We wanted to believe Mute Math when they jumped around the stage that they did it because the music moved them, but it seemed more like they did it because that’s what it’s supposed to look like when rock is performed. The uninspired and short set left us feeling like we watched someone doing their job instead of performing for their fans. We hope they find a way to take the emotions from their lyrics and put them into their live show where they already deliver the musical talent, because then there’d really be something to piss ourselves over.