Mutts – Black Ties & Diamonds (Song Premiere)
by Steven Spoerl
Chicago trio Mutts have been steadily building a deeply impressive resume for over five years. Each time the band steps up to the plate, they improve on their previous best- leaving 2013’s extraordinary (acoustic-based) Object Permanence as their current high-water mark. As unlikely as it seems considering Object Permanence‘s unfailing grace, the record they’re about to release- Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4– may surpass it to take up the mantle of career-best. “Everyone Is Everyone” kicked off the pre-release roll-out for Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 in exhilarating fashion with bandleader Mike Maimone passionately dismantling the politics of negative slurs- a stance that takes on a much more personal meaning considering Maimone spent the last few records grappling with the anxieties and emotional releases that accompanied his decision to come out.
“Black Ties & Diamonds” may not be as fiery as its predecessor but it’s just as- if not more- immediately gripping. Easily the band’s most atmospheric moment to date, “Black Ties & Diamonds” is as fire-and-brimstone as it is smoky haze, a classically noir-ish retreat down a murky riverbank. It’s an entirely new look for Mutts and one that suits them so naturally that it’s easy to forget their standard mode is blistering blues-infused noise-punk. As always, Maimone’s lyrics and keyboard work are just as sharp as Mutts’ rhythm section (which is made up of drummer Chris Pagnani and bassist Bob Buckstaff, respectively)- adding to their easily posited claim as one of the tightest units in the upper Midwest.
In lyric copy, “Black Ties & Diamonds” becomes a total deconstruction of a myriad of events, eventually revealing itself as a collection of vignettes that illustrate the trials of life’s overwhelmingly mundane nature. There’s a melancholic nature permeating throughout the track, accentuated by organ stabs, mood-heavy drumming, and frighteningly intuitive bass work. Musically, this veers far closer to the realms of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds than the usually inevitable Tom Waits comparison the band’s so frequently earned in the past. It’s a complete anomaly in the band’s catalog; a minor headphones track in a sea of turned-to-11 explosives.
Production-wise, “Black Ties & Diamonds is the best Mutts have ever sounded electric- something that holds true for the rest of Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4. This is a record that’s layered, sequenced, and mastered to perfection, with “Black Ties & Diamonds” standing out as the definitive track. Mutts aren’t done experimenting, moving forward, challenging themselves, or progressing. Not by a damn sight. “Black Ties & Diamonds” cements this as inexorable proof in stunning fashion, playing directly into the commendable ethics of one of America’s hardest-working bands. Don’t be too surprised to see their name starting to fight its way into regular conversation- and don’t make the mistake of ignoring something as subtly haunting as “Black Ties & Diamonds”.
Mutts will be throwing an LP release party for Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 which will be presented by Gapers Block and feature additional performances from Archie Powell & the Exports, The Kickback, and Pop Goes The Evil. This will take place on December 6 at The Metro. 8 pm. $12 at the door and $8 in advance. Don’t make the mistake of missing this one.
Stream “Black Ties & Diamonds” below and make sure to pick up Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4 as soon as possible.
[…] site’s coverage was exclusively dedicated to the premiere of Mutts’ incredible “Black Ties & Diamonds“, ensuring that there’d be quite a bit of material to catch up on today. There […]
[…] [Fuel Yer Delusion vol. 4] is a record that’s layered, sequenced, and mastered to perfection… Mutts aren’t done experimenting, moving forward, challenging themselves, or progressing… Don’t be too surprised to see their name starting to fight its way into regular conversation. Full Article […]