Mutemath
Armistice


3.0
good

Review

by Waior USER (114 Reviews)
August 18th, 2009 | 63 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Catchy enough to be successful but too redundant and familiar to be laudable.

Let's get this out of the way: Mute Math's self-titled debut was nothing remarkable. It presented an ample myriad of various hooks, catchy songs and radio-friendly endeavors but it suffered from an equal amount of repetition, genre-confusedness and overall misdirection. Three years later, Mute Math broaches an expansion of their sound while simultaneously throwing much of their charm to the wind -- the result is 'Armistice'. Containing a balanced dosage of experimentation and standard Mute Math propaganda, the band's latest splurge into alt-rock stardom is an arguably solid but undoubtedly inconsistent dilation of the band's distinctive sound.

This time around, Mute Math employ a few obvious influences in order to sharpen their compositions. For example, the distorted synths and layered vocals of 'Clipping' is almost too blatant of a nod to Muse's 'Map of the Problematique' and 'Backfire' is essentially a disconcerting reiteration of any pop-rock song that cracked the top-40 in the past decade. Hand in hand with the strikingly prominent borrowing-from-influences (plagiarism) is repetition. Dance-y opener 'The Nerve' sets the tone for more than half of the album: half of the album sounds just like the energetic opener. This act of parroting becomes vocalist Paul Meany's closest companion as he weaves his Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel voice in and out of spiraling synths and guitars with recycled hooks and rehashed melodies while Darren King frantically percusses in a maniacal attempt to hold together the unconventionally structured pop-choruses.

'Armistice' works phenomenally, however, when it's less frantic; when it settles down into "chill mode". Twin tracks 'No Response' and 'Pins and Needles' are mellowed out (for Mute Math, that is) and are legitimately highlights of the album in their languid slurs; the former, a convincing Radiohead impression that plays more like an original than a parody and the latter, a lazy, jazzy number that casually prods it's way to a closing finish. Another steady and infallible element of Mute is the combination of vocalist Paul Meany and drummer Darren King - an unlikely combination but a successful one at that. Amidst the unremarkable bass playing and ultimately forgettable guitar playing, Meany and King are left afloat to lead the songs and they do so dynamically and brilliantly between one's raspy, tenor voice and the other's kinetic, creative drumming.

However, 'Armistice' ultimately feels like Mute Math aimed high and fell short of the mark. Also taking into consideration that Meany said "our goal is to embarrass the first record, that's what we're trying to do here, and I think we're on point to pull it off.", the lack of inspiration and soul that seemingly plagues the record is even more disappointing. It's a pity that their debut wasn't amazing too, because then I could say that Meany was right about 'Armistice' embarrassing their self-titled record in the same way a pre-pubescent Three Days Grace fan embarrasses a metalhead -- but it's not like those comparisons are remotely relevant. Point is, Mute Math have yet to hit their stride and utilize their potential. Better luck next time, boys.



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user ratings (239)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Rationalist (4)
Mute Math come back with a fantastic prog-pop album....

PuddlesPuddles (3)
After a stunning debut, the synth rockers take a back seat to creativity and connection and focus on...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Waior
August 18th 2009


11627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry, guys

Spare
August 18th 2009


5567 Comments


my ex-girlfriend liked these guys and i learned one of their songs to sing her and a day before i was about to do it she broke up with me. long story short mute math suck and i still hurt inside.

Knott-
Emeritus
August 18th 2009


10204 Comments


idk if you can say 'an ample myriad'
too blatant* (Problematique sentence)
in and out of* (Gabriel sentence)
taking into*? (1st sentence last para)

reads brilliantly though, save for typos.

aaaaaand ive never heard these guys

Spare
August 18th 2009


5567 Comments


seems like the kinda shit you'd like

Knott-
Emeritus
August 18th 2009


10204 Comments


idk muse kinda annoy me except Absolution

i will put their st at the bottom of my huge recs list

Waior
August 18th 2009


11627 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Vocalist is way better than Bellamy.



But yeah, strikey, you'd probably like this. Look up "Typical" on YouTube for a first impression.



Wow, all those typos. I wasn't going to write this because I'm running on so little sleep recently and look! Evidence! My reputation is ruined. Thanks for catching those though

PuddlesPuddles
August 18th 2009


4798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Beaten to the punch! Haha, cannot believe it. Nice, man

Zip
August 18th 2009


5312 Comments


Review machine

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
August 18th 2009


22485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I may still give this a listen if I get time. Good review Caleb. Very clear & informative. You've really nailed the structure of your reviews near-perfectly.



I found another interesting word sleepy-head: "genre-confusedness" I think confusion may work better.

jingledeath
August 18th 2009


7101 Comments


great review, I would've checked this out if the rating were a bit higher but now i guess i'll pass

Roach
August 18th 2009


2148 Comments


Never liked Mute Math anyway.

StrizzMatik
August 18th 2009


3684 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This didn't strike as being all that exciting on the first listens. Definitely not as good as the first one (which wasn't amazing to begin with), but I would say his vocals have much more of a Sting flair to them as opposed to Collins or Gabriel...

Deathcar
August 18th 2009


1534 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This is ok. I'll probably keep it/listen to it, good for chilling out to...but nowhere near as good as it could have been.



Kind of the same story with their first album, enjoyable to listen through, but not anything spectacular.



Great review, aside from the typo's others have already pointed out.

ziroth
August 18th 2009


1260 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I think I liked this more than you - good review

xNintendoCorex
August 18th 2009


1269 Comments


aww man, i was so looking forward to this album
now im a little bummed .

Gyromania
August 18th 2009


25913 Comments


New Mute Math add is driving me insane.

ninjuice
August 18th 2009


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm not sure how I forgot this was coming out.....

Look up "Typical" on YouTube for a first impression.


A fairly wrong first impression, that is. At least regarding the album it's on.

The review is great but I wanna know what someone who gives their debut a 3.5 (or higher) thinks.

Masochist
August 18th 2009


8834 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's a grower, if I've ever heard one.



Maybe a review later from me, I'm starting to get into it more and more than I did upon first/second listen.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
August 18th 2009


4970 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

album sucks sh*t, but i agree with your review more than your impression you gave on the forums.

JacobsLadder
August 18th 2009


554 Comments


I'll give this a listen I liked their debut.



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