Mutes, the musical project of Birmingham guitarist / songwriter James Brown, have released their new single ‘Vanishing’, the first taster from their forthcoming debut album.
Brown has a stellar reputation as a musician, both locally and nationally – when not flexing his musical muscles in Mutes, he can be seen (and, of course, heard) shredding strings with metallic Midlanders God Damn. Mutes, though, has long been Brown’s avenue for adventurism – over the course of their back catalogue, Mutes have released EPs that have ranged from lo-fi bedroom noodling to more layered, but no less frenzied, guitar lashings.
‘Vanishing’ is set to appear on Mutes’ as-yet-untitled debut album, due for release in the summer through independent label FOMA. It has the post-punk, glacial urgency of ‘Warsaw’-era Joy Division, propelled by an almost Krautrock-indebted drum thrum and a chorus that bursts with melody and muscularity. Vocally, Brown pitches himself between Josh Homme and We Are Scientists‘ Keith Murray, a half-shrug, half-heartfelt croon that collapses into an ominous bridge of tuneful arpeggios and brooding loops.
I once pretended to be the Jarmans' long-lost cousin.