Mutts – Fuel yer’ Delusion (vol 4)

The keys/bass/drums trio, Mutts, have been described as “Tom Waits fronting a garage band” by Time Out Magazine, and “what Queens Of The Stone Age would sound like if they ditched the guitars and started playing some dirty sounding organs” by Loud Loop Press. This is the fourth full-length release from Mutts. Most songs transition into each other, and the black cover art is digital-only; the LP and CD packaging is made of a reflective foil-coated cardboard. This is a conceptual title, loosely based on winning the next big talent contest, deserving it or not. The album starts off funny but takes a few serious turns after part one of three of the same title in America’s Next Top__pt.1, and finds all kinds of room for variety in-between. For instance they go from one style to the next without losing course somehow. Real Good Boy and Shake It Up are two examples of better songs, as where some stick closer to the concept, so they tend to be more similar that way. This makes for good opposites when needed, and takes them the distance on every song, giving each one something to offer that the other doesn’t. They really have taken their sound to the next level on this, with production duties between the band and drummer Dan Smart for an overall quality release that plays well throughout. This is a very comical group but also very musical to balance it all and they prove to have gone in one direction after the other on their releases, which this stay the course in doing. On Everyone Is Everyone they show a less serious side but it’s vital to the concept threaded throughout the album, and if I had a favorite it would have to be the moody Black Ties & Diamonds. The vocals are what lead the way with this band, but the music at times is equally interesting, especially if you like their sound. In getting away from some of the more traditional Mutts songs, notice the refreshing sounds of tracks like Breed with its occasional big breaks, and the eclectic People, which is sort of a chant that really takes on the subject matter with some interesting percussion to back it. This is a very fun band with a few good releases already under their belts, and this latest, released in December 2014 is bound to turn a lot of heads their way from Chicago to each coast. And if the Tom Waits sound is not for you, don’t let that fool you, they have so much more to explore on “Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4.” Some of it is for everyone, some of it not, but you have to hear it all to decide which falls under which. Tracks like Stone prove this to be the case, as it differs from most on offer, but can fall on either set of ears.

Cory Frye

Score: 7/10