Your teeth are diamond studded
You’re always smilin’ at me
When I ain’t got any teeth
Happy Voting Day, friends! This lyric from the Mutts song “Washington (Still) Owns People”, from their album Separation Anxiety, seemed like an appropriate way to start this Election Day post.
I’ve been putting this post off for a while because I’ve had a difficult time getting a handle on exactly how to talk about their music. I was intrigued by the album from the start – it’s hard not to be when an album starts with a rhythmic, imaginative gem like “So Many, So Many” that makes you want to find a bucket and a wooden spoon so you can beat along.
But then they bring in the amped instruments, and things get complicated. Elements of rock, hardcore, progressive, thrash, funk, blues all throw in together for a meaty stew in songs that lyrically explore subjects from politics to religion to maintaining a romantic relationship as a touring musician.
It’s a compelling mess (and I mean that in the best way) Mutts are making here, never falling into cookie cutter parameters or imitation. Many of the elements used are familiar, but the direction these elements are taken is not, and that keeps your attention, wondering where Mutts will go next.
My favorite song on the album is the title/closing track that leads in like a raise-the-rafters gospel stomper, but then devolves into a drunken, shambling barroom sing-a-long.
The digital version of Separation Anxiety is available on a name-your-price basis, and CD and vinyl version are available for just a little scratch, including the beautiful “Mending Wall” LP.
Now here’s the part that really excites me: Separation Anxiety was funded in a Kickstarter campaign as part of a double-album deal. The second album, Object Permanence, will be an acoustic album and a sampler listen shows the album running in a vein similar to “So Many, So Many” and “Separation Anxiety”, so keep your ear to the ground for that one.