Sunday, June 16, 2024
band of the week

Band of the Week 002: Mutes

Band: Mutes
Hometown: Birmingham
For Fans Of: Sonic Youth, MBV
Online: Facebook / Twitter / Spotify

Ahead of their show with Toronto punks FRIGS at the Hare & Hounds this week, Birmingham polymaths Mutes feature as our second Band of the Week.

Mutes is the long-time project of James Brown, who is becoming somewhat of an idiosyncratic legend in these parts. Best listened to loud (let’s be honest, if you see them live you don’t have a say in this matter) Mutes serve up hefty slices of discordant and distorted post-punk, with their latest single ‘Swallowing Light’ a perfect 2.5 minute display of fuzzy lo-fi.

While Mutes as a project has seen a high turnover of both temporary and permanent members, James Brown has kept his sole creative license in tact – particularly with the new album, all of which he recorded and mixed himself. At times Mutes channel the cacophonous crashing riffs of My Bloody Valentine while entwining the harsh-yet-friendlier melodies of Dinosaur Jr. and Bleach-era Nirvana. Put simply, James Brown’s songs, which tell tales of minor self-deprecation and despondence to the world, are intricate layers of lo-fi punk that any fan of noise can get along with. It’s about time you had a listen.

Like what you read? You can listen to the new single below, and if you like what you hear, you can catch them at the Hare & Hounds on Wednesday 7th November supporting FRIGS. Tickets are available here.

Header photo © Piran Aston Photography

Richard Franks

Founding editor of Counteract. Freelance travel and music journalist.