Mute Math with The Whigs and Jonezetta
Thursday · 20th Century Theatre
Mute Math began five years ago as an offshoot of the Contemporary Christian band Earthsuit, when former members Paul Meany (keys, vocals) and Darren King (drums) began working on demos from their homes in New Orleans, La., and Springfield, Miss., respectively. After months of collaborating at a distance, the former bandmates finally launched Mute Math in New Orleans in 2003, adding guitarist Greg Hill and ex-Earthsuit bassist Roy Mitchell-Cardenas to the lineup.
The sound that the foursome created in their home studio was a hooky amalgamation of Rock and Synth Pop shot through with a Prog-like complexity that retained its infectious accessibility. Rather than risk the complications of a label (Earthsuit had locked legal horns with their label, Sparrow Records, perhaps making Mute Math somewhat hesitant to repeat the process), Meany and the band envisioned their own imprint, Teleprompt Records, which would allow the band creative and marketing freedom.
With the release of Mute Math's Reset EP in the fall of 2004, the band waged a massive Internet campaign via MySpace and PureVolume and created enough word-of-mouth buzz to ensure sold-out dates in major markets around the country. Early this year, Mute Math released their eponymous debut full-length as a tour-only token before making it available through their label's on-line store, eventually racking up sales of more than 10,000 copies in the first month alone. Cover features in Billboard and Pollstar magazines and crowd-wowing performances at Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza and the Vans' Warped Tour helped Mute Math secure a distribution deal with Warner Brothers Records, who re-released the band's debut album in a remastered form with bonus tracks from Reset and bundled it with a concert EP, Live at the El Rey.
With close to 100,000 friends on their MySpace site, and nearly 50,000 copies of Reset sold, Mute Math is the blueprint for bands in the new millennium to make success and not wait for it. (Brian Baker)
Thursday · Clique
Saying a band is a "Brooklyn Art Punk" act now has the same preconceived connotations as "Seattle Grunge Band" once had. You pretty much always have a good sense of what you're in for, as oodles of bands from that area have traded in the dirty, down-stroke guitars (thanks, The Strokes) and laissez-faire attitude for something more esoteric and spastic (thanks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs).
But that doesn't mean that there aren't any bands there doing something interesting and, at least within that context, unique and forward thinking. Enter Brooklyn's The Flesh, who mix some of the expected ingredients (gritty Post Punk guitars, hand-on-hip swagger) with jerky yet funky dance beats that would suggest that a Timbaland collaboration wouldn't be outside of the realm of possibility (and how many "Art Punk" bands can you genuinely say that about?). The untethered, dynamic songwriting, instrumental creativity and vocal switch-offs and interplay between two equally captivating and forceful lead singers (keyboardist Gabriella Zappia and guitarist Nathan Halpern) keeps you guessing at every synth buzz.
The engaging Neo New/No Wave quartet formed in the hip NY borough in 2001. They almost immediately drew attention from locals and national tastemakers alike, leading to their first EP Death Connection two years after their formation, and their debut for esteemed indie Gern Blandsten, Sweet Defeat (another EP), in 2004. The group's sexy, dark (yet strangely party-starting) anthems have mutated and gotten stronger with every release, culminating in a self-titled full-length which attracted over-thought but largely praiseful reviews from a wide-range of Internet and Indie music press outlets.
A couple of preview songs on their MySpace page (myspace.com/theflesh) from their forthcoming 2007 sophomore long-player show that the evolution of their sound is far from over and crossover success may be imminent. Moving slightly away from the quirkiness that infused their earliest work, "Firetower" is classic, dramatic Pop, laced with sweeping string sounds, Hip Hop-ready rhythms and a melody that could have been stolen from Chrissie Hynde's notebook, while "Cradle Brothel Bible," also sung by Zappia, is a sensual, propulsive, sure-fire Modern Rock radio hit in waiting. (Mike Breen)
Deicide with Desolation, Dead Broke, Assault Machine, Detached, All Knowing, Darkness Undying, Skin Trade and Corpside
Saturday · Sudsy Malone's
Controversy and Death Metal are as compatible as chocolate and peanut butter, and Florida's Deicide is a shrieking black case in point. Beginning life in 1987 as Carnage, and then Amon, the band (bassist/vocalist Glen Benton, guitarists Eric Hoffman and Brian Hoffman and drummer Steve Asheim) changed their name to Deicide (which literally means "the killing of God") in 1989 on the strong advice of their label, Roadrunner Records, who objected to the name Amon because it was a reference to a King Diamond album.
Deicide distinguished themselves early on by infusing their lightning fast Metal riffs with a level of Prog-like complexity rarely heard in the genre; as a result, Terrorizer Magazine eventually lauded Deicide's self-titled 1990 debut album as one of the Top 100 Metal Albums of the '90s. Deicide invited trouble from the very start, espousing a virulent anti-Christian, pro-Satanic viewpoint in their lyrics and advocating the practice of animal sacrifice from the stage. It may have been this latter concept that inspired someone to detonate a bomb onstage in a Norwegian club in 1992, although Benton has long contended it was actually the act of European Black Metal fans who were violently opposed to American Metal bands at the time.
Over the next dozen years, Deicide continued to shape and challenge the parameters of Death Metal with an amazing stretch of six studio albums, a live recording, a greatest hits and a remastered version of their debut. 2004 wound up being a tumultuous year for Deicide. They released the acclaimed Scars of the Crucifix and toured extensively, but before the end of the year, Benton announced that the Hoffman brothers had been dismissed from Deicide for unprofessional behavior detrimental to the band (prayer circles before gigs, perhaps?). They in turn claimed they had quit because of Benton's lack of musical skills and his unprofessionalism.
The Hoffmans were ultimately replaced by ex-Cannibal Corpse guitarist Jack Owen and ex-Death/Iced Earth six-stringer Ralph Santolla; this lineup released the well regarded The Stench of Redemption back in August. And through it all, controversy continues to swirl around Deicide; Santolla was arrested at a recent Texas concert for allegedly pelting a police officer with a Red Bull can. The devil is in the details and Deicide is detail-oriented.
Deicide's Cincy appearance is a part of Sudsy's "Lost Souls Fest," featuring 10 local and touring acts and beginning well before the witching hour, at 4 p.m. (BB)