Who? Paul Meany and Roy Mitchell-Cardenas jammed in a New Orleans band called Earthsuit, doing that Linkin Park-style rap-rock in the late ’90s. Darren King, from Springfield, Mo. was a fan of the band, tracked them down, and had a brief, disastrous stint. “He up-staged the singer — he wasn’t meant to be in the back of the stage,” Meany told SPIN.com. They all ditched Earthsuit and started Mute Math in 2001 with guitarist Greg Hill, another Springfield transplant. After selling 30,000 units of an EP, Mute Math last year left New Orleans to record a debut LP in Nashville, and they started video blogging their early 2006 gigs to develop a passionate Internet audience. Live attendance grew exponentially, and Warner Bros. Records swooped in to sign a re-release deal.
What’s the Deal? Musically restless, this spazzy band combine U2’s Christian-flavored bombast (“Chaos”), Kasabian explosions (“Collapse”), Police melodies (“Noticed”), spiritualized fuzz-outs, and electro-glitch experimentation. At times, with Meany crooning at the piano amidst muscular beats, it’s Coldplay washing down steroids with Red Bull-vodka. Live shows are a set up for scene-stealer King: In duct-taped headphones, he becomes a perpetual-motion machine, launching into exotic, crowd-pumping solos.
Fun Fact: From the tour bus outside Seattle’s Showbox, Meany sipped a Corona and howled as he recalled drummer King’s tryout: “I auditioned him at a little church. It was supposed to be four songs, but he only made it through one — he broke the tom drum, knocked over the cymbals, broke his sticks, and blew out the PA system!” TOM SCANLON
Talk: Can you do the Math, or are you hitting the Mute button? COMMENT
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