Hours before MUTES drop their new album, Pareidolia, I urge you to prepare yourselves for what may be the stand-out moment of this year in the Birmingham music scene. The post-punk melodies of this Birmingham 3-piece, meet the shoegaze tones you may expect of a late 80s experimental band to culminate in the refined entity that is Pareidolia.
With angst that appears extremely personal, yet grossly universal, MUTES have yet again, proven themselves to be talented lyricists with words that mean something, and instrumentation that delves into the exploration of sound we have seen them navigate through before. Building upon the sound MUTES created in their debut album, No Desire, their sophomore album showcases a more distinct sound.
Pareidolia presents MUTES in all the right ways with cinematic-sounding interludes which contrast the immaculately constructed songs that present themselves as worlds within the album. The quality and cohesion of each track makes it difficult to choose a single stand-out track, although Men of Violence is certainly one that contains so many of the elements the band excel at.
In places, the album seems almost to be an homage to the great and influential music of the last four decades, while there is no sense of regurgitated sound. Instead, MUTES manage to take their influences and use them to shape their own musical universe and pave their own pathway. Nothing about Pareidolia feels forced or ingenuine; perhaps it was the ‘two long turbulent years of breakups, job losses, uprooting and rebuilding’ the members of the band went through that gave them the experiences and the tools they needed to create such an authentic LP.
Throughout the album, listeners are taken on a journey of musical experimentalism and emotional exploration. Ending the final track of the album with a celestial energy is a stroke of genius that will encourage listeners to process everything they just heard, and then return to the beginning again to consume this piece of art once more.
Polished, perceptive and powerful, Pareidolia showcases the growth and talent of MUTES, proving once again why the trio are a great attribute to the Birmingham music scene.
By Emma Sherry