Spree Music with E. Lovria: Mutemath
In the eyes of most fans drummers are an afterthought. Despite being an essential component to nearly any type of band, drummers sit behind, literally and figuatively, the attractive lead singer. They are often only mentioned in interviews when the author feels obliged to introduce the entire band to the reader.
While the band Mutemath is made up of a group of extremely talented musicians and enthusiastic performers, music critics and their fans agree that drummer Darren King is the driving force behind the group's popularity. His arms showcase his authoritative understanding of rhythm as he bounces up and down like a teenager with each drum beat, pulling the audience into a state of fixation. Darren King and Mutemath will bring their unique brand of rock to Mohawk Place on Thursday, September 22nd in support of their new album, Odd Soul.
Mutemath formed in New Orleans in 2003 and in addition to King also includes Paul Meany (lead vocals and keyboard), Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (bassist) and Todd Gummerman (guitarist), a newer member who joined the group this year. In 2006, they released their self-titled debut album, and with the single “Typical”, Mutemath found success on the alternative music charts, receiving accolades from music critics and fans alike. While the album Armistice (released in 2009) didn’t attract as much attention as their previous release, the band stayed true to form. With their new effort, Odd Soul, the band continues to generate almost other-worldly rock, a rich blend between bitter rock and artful, whimsical soul. The album’s first single, “Blood Pressure”, starts out as a lullaby or thoughtful love song before yanking you into a bluesy rock trip. With a bass line straight out of a 70's road trip movie soundtrack and vocal harmonies that drip sweet as honey, this song is sure to garner attention As fans have come to expect, King’s percussion complements the intricate musical offering. His bluesy cadence leads the song’s verses which are then offset by the off-beat and jazzy drum rolls of the chorus.
While Mutemath recordings are artful and meticulously crafted, it’s their live performance that truly showcases the band's abilities. Darren King aside, the other musicians bring a youthful exuberance to the stage and remind you of a time when performers did more than stand on stage with a sense of aloof snobbiness. Instead, they each impart enthusiasm unmatched by most live performances today. Paul Meany will jump from keyboard to keyboard, and often the band eggs King on, contributing to his percusive antics on stage. By the end of the set, it is easy ti find yourself mesmerized by King’s hypnotizing beat. For those of you who enjoy a band that highlights musicianship and entertainment, this show is a must see.
Elizabeth Lovria is a graduate of Lake Shore Central Schools and Syracuse University. She resides in Hamburg with her husband and their daughter.