Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mutemath at Terminal 5

Paul Meany
Based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, keyboardist/vocalist Paul Meany was a member of a short-lived Christian rock band called Earthsuit in the mid-1990s. After Earthsuit, Meany stayed in communication with drummer Darren King in Springfield, Missouri, and the two began a long distance working relationship on some of Meany's songs. King moved back to Louisiana in 2002 to work more closely with Meany on this project, originally called Math. The band eventually changed its name to Mutemath, and presently consists of Meany, King, bassist Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas and guitarist Todd Gummerman; all are multi-instrumentalists. The band's fourth album, Vitals, was released on November 13, 2015.

Headlining at Terminal 5 tonight, Mutemath's music was challenging to categorize. At its root, the set originated in experimental synthesizer work, but which developed into pop/soul indie-tronica, particularly through Meany's rhythm and blues-styled vocals. The quartet opened with the atmospheric "Stratosphere" from the most recent album, then jumped back 10 years to the debut album with "Chaos." Not much separated the two songs, nor most of the rest of the set. Songs were loaded with waves of electronic sound, peppered with a few rallying choruses and King's strong percussion. Meany was an energetic front person, sitting by, standing at or standing on his keyboards or working the front of the stage with a fiery presence. Much of the layered music behind him was cold and lacked bite, however, and despite occasionally cascading dynamics, was bland enough to dissolve in a swirling wash of sound. Nevertheless, a couple of thousand fans found a groove and moved with the music for 22 songs.

Visit Mutemath at www.mutemath.com.