Inside Out [Release date 22.01.16]
The Mute Gods are centred around Nick Beggs, who has worked and toured with Steve Hackett and Steven Wilson among others. He is joined by respected drummer Marco Minnemann (who also plays guitar) and Roger King on keyboards/guitars/backing vocals, who has also toured as part of Steve Hackett’s band.
This album, like the excellent Lonely Robot one, has a big emphasis on creating melodic songs like the blissful ‘Nightschool For Idiots’. This song also highlights the melodic vocals of Nick Beggs, which are very easy on the ear yet get the lyrical points across as you pay attention to his singing, unlike some vocalists who tend to merge into the background after awhile.
The lead song, ‘Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me’ is an album highlight. Starting quietly before building into a memorable chorus, the song takes as its basis the speeches of General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his warning to the free world about the rise of the Independent Industrial Military Complex. This has a massive pop hook in it, yet has lots of musical technical wizardry circling the choruses. The subject matter on the album also touches on that modern online beast, the internet troll on ‘Feed The Troll’.
‘In the Crosshairs’ allows the band to show their instrumental playing and is the song with the most guitar on. They really ‘prog out’ on ‘Strange Relationship’, which features plenty of keys and bass, along with the precise and tight playing of Marco Minnemann.
The album scores highly for me in the sonics and soundscapes, for example listening to ‘Swimming Horses’ you pick up different musical details on each listen and the vocal arrangements are complex on this song too.
The Mute Gods have achieved what they set out to do, namely produce a highly listenable and enjoyable album of alternative pop/rock. Good to see such sterling musicians as Nick Beggs take the deserved limelight after many years playing a vital role in backing other musicians. ****
Review by Jason Ritchie
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