The Mute Gods
Category: Progressive / Rock / Pop
Album: Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me
Blurb: Blending pop and prog in a manner that allows for technical prowess without sacrificing melody, this new band from some of modern music’s most respected players achieves a magnificent balance to make for a very inviting listening experience.
From his humble beginnings in the ‘80s pop realm with hits like Kajagoogoo’s “Too Shy” to later establishing himself as one of the world’s most respected and eminent bass and Chapman Stick players, performing with artists as diverse as Gary Numan, Seal, Tina Turner, and John Paul Jones, Nick Beggs is a man whose musical talents can’t be understated. After years touring with the likes of Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett, The Mute Gods is but the latest of his endeavors, backed by the instrumental and production savvy of Roger King and the percussive prowess of Marco Minnemann, and lyrically exploring the sociopolitical backdrop of a world gone insane, culminating in this debut album, Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me.
Those familiar with Beggs’ body of work immediately understand that despite his proficiency and stature as a bass player, his focus has always been on musicality and melody, and this is evidenced throughout Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me, beginning with the dynamic title track. With lyrics touching on the dangers of governmental abuse of power and specific allusions to Dwight Eisenhower’s warnings against the military industrial complex, the song moves through waves of radio signals and pulsating synth arpeggios before erupting into a rolling guitar and bass theme that gives way to Beggs’ emotive vocals, moving from passionate harmony to straightforward and almost disaffected. “Praying to a Mute God” follows, the steely thrums of guitar and bass launching headlong into a splintered indictment on blind faith in unseen deities driven by layers of vocal harmony and electrified rock & roll power. The album then proceeds into varying modes of well composed song structures that on the surface – with irregular time signatures like those in the hard-hitting riffs of the King Crimson-esque “Your Dark Ideas,” the jazzy arpeggios and subtle twinkling pianos akin to the likes of Steven Wilson on “Strange Relationship,” or the sliding, soaring guitar solos and keyboard infused changeups of the instrumental “In the Crosshairs” – bear the signatures of what many think of as progressive rock. However, Beggs’ command of catchy, tuneful pop like in the aforementioned “Strange Relationship” and the soft and soulful “Nightschool for Idiots” demonstrate that the complex interweaving of divergent styles The Mute Gods explore is not easily categorized… which may therefore bear a greater resemblance to earlier modes of progressive music. A track like “Feed the Troll,” with its darkly ominous atmosphere conveyed through distorted vocal and breathing accompaniments, metallic percussion, and pulsating synths so intrinsic to what one would expect from industrial music, bears just as much in common with Rush as it would with Nine Inch Nails. “Father Daughter” ends the album on a somber note, a duet with Beggs’ daughter Lula as their vocal interplay floats amid a wash of spectral synthesized ambience, the guitars drenched in effects and recalling the more experimental sonic flights of fancy of David Gilmour during the late ‘70s.
For all of the dark subject matter Beggs lyrically traverses throughout the album, the music certainly showing no shortage of energy and aggressive power, there is nothing quite so angry or in-your-face as might be indicated by these concepts. For this, Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me is a highly listenable record with the capacity to reach numerous audiences and insinuate deeper thoughts on confronting the ills of the world without ramming it down the listeners’ throats. It’s a very inviting record with its dynamic blend of genres, clearly filled to the brim with musicality and technical prowess without dwelling on or showcasing it in an obvious manner like so many progressive artists tend to do, for better or worse. Beggs and his cohorts have achieved quite an effective balance between prog and pop that this writer is excited to hear in greater development.
The Mute Gods
Website, Facebook, Twitter
Website, Facebook, Twitter
Website, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)