MUTE

Thunderblast

USA Bird Attack Release

Details

Released April 14, 2014

Dying Scene Review:

Every once and a while a band who has been around for a while steps it up and releases a blow your mind punk rock record. In this case, Québec City natives Mute released “The Raven” in 2008 and it is in my opinion one of the best skate punk albums of all time. So what does a band do in approaching their next record? Stick to the same formula but work on individual aspects of each song and improve them in every way possible but at the same time not recreate the same album twice. Mute has done this with “Thunderblast.” Is it as good as “The Raven”? Yes. Is it one of the best skate punk albums of all time? Well, time will only tell if it picks up that classic album status.

The first track, “Motel Bates” picks up right where “The Raven” left off with a metal-ish open into a hi-hat tap accompanied with the harmonious vocals and tech guitars that Mute is known for. After blasting through the introductory track off “Thunderstruck” it is easy to see that it is proportional to the sound they created on “The Raven.”

This record didn’t surprise me like its predecessor did only because I knew what to expect and I knew that these French-Canadian dudes were going to put forth the energy to make an even more solid record. Although the album as a whole isn’t surprising they did manage to slip in an unexpected gem in the form of a cover of Mr. Big’s “To Be With You.” If you think you don’t know the song I can almost guarantee that you do. Mute took the gospel sounding rock ballad and adapted it to their brand of fast melodic skate punk. If you didn’t know it was a cover you could pass it off as one of their own. These guys are four talented dudes but this song really showcases their vocal abilities. The high pitch scream at the end rules and would make Fubar’s Terry and Dean’er jealous.

The cover shows that they experimented a little more and took some chances on this record. A couple chances that were also taken are on two slow tracks. “Neon Valley” is one of the slowest Mute songs and has a guitar riff that gives off a Pulley/Strung Out feel. The pre-chorus and chorus are still technical, especially for a slow song, but keep that melodic feel for the duration of the song. “Homesick and Tired” is as Mute as you can get but on a slower level and has an exceptional female vocalist contributing some back up vocals. They also brought a dude into the studio to record some gravelly sounding vocals on the song “Calcul(h)ating.”

Although those might be small risks, it really shows the band is not trying to recreate the same piece of art twice. The bigger risk or the most experimentation is done on the epic song “Shadow Of A Doubt.” The song is epic because of its length clocking in at 10:13, which is very rare for a skate punk band. It’s dynamic enough to keep it from dragging on and feeling too long. About half way through they switch it up and slow it down with some clean picking until the gang vocals pick it up again. The two different parts flow together seamlessly and make it feel like two different songs joined in perfect symmetry.

“Thunderblast” is flawless and you really couldn’t ask for more. Face melting technical guitar riffs? Check. Melodic vocals? Check. Blistering drums? Check. Rhythm to move to? Check. “Thunderblast” is well on it’s way to becoming a classic staple in Canadian punk rock.

Tracklisting

  1. Bates Motel
  2. Wolf's Den
  3. The Tempest
  4. Homesick & Tired
  5. Nevermore
  6. Calcul(H)ating
  7. Strangers Back Again
  8. Neon Valley
  9. Fastlane
  10. Shadow Of A Doubt