The Mute Gods
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
22nd January 2016 - InsideOut Music
01. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
02. Praying to a Mute God
03. Night School for Idiots
04. Feed the Troll
05. Your Dark Ideas
06. Last Man on Earth
07. In the Cross-Hairs
08. Strange Relationship
09. Swimming Horses
10. Mavro Capelo
11. Father Daughter
70s prog has one of the most die-hard fanbases in the observable universe. Its numerous torchbearers, both veterans from the genre’s heyday and rising stalwarts, have kept the genre current whilst wrestling with the constantly-updating definition of “progressive.” This is the competitive but healthy context into which The Mute Gods release their debut, a full-length of thoughtful, dramatic and often sinister modern prog.
Musically, the album indulges in a lot of classic prog influences such as the mellotron and rhythmic changes showcased in the intro to “Feed the Troll“, followed by what sounds like a harp, an unusual flourish. Marco Minneman seems a little subdued here considering his god-tier chops, but he is foremost a tasteful player and his contributions reflect a consciousness of songcraft over displays of virtuosity. Some bell flourishes and deft snarework on “Strange Relationship” in particular add a subtle percussive presence to the track, and similar themes are expressed throughout the album.
Whilst it does showcase a lot of genre features that you’d expect, it would be a shame to consider this album a retrospective of bands long dead. The main strength of Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me is its creativity; the aforementioned “Feed the Troll” features some morse code-like computer blips, the electronic elements absent from a lot of classic early prog. The initial handful of songs showcase Nick Begg‘s vocals, and by the time “Your Dark Ideas” arrives we start to see some anthemic elements appear – on this track in particular sounding a little like Muse‘s Matt Bellamy. The ideas are many; if anything, you could accuse the record of being a little overstuffed or bloated, but the songs are well-constructed and there are some shorter mid-album numbers such as “In The Cross-hairs” which do an admirable job of diversifying the album’s sound.
Across the prog spectrum, lyrical content is generally less of a focus, though there are exceptions, especially for more recent bands. Here they are brought to the forefront; The Mute Gods show their pop-prog sensibilities on tracks like the sensitive “Father Daughter“, and on the mercurial “Feed the Troll” the sparser lyrics are granted centre stage. The themes might come across as a little mawkish for some; the latter alludes to obnoxious internet denizens and even title track “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” is a fun narrative but doesn’t quite have the political or poetic gravitas that it would like. The music is the standout of the album, and though there are no especially weak lyrical moments the whole things isn’t as cutting as it promises.
Despite some weaknesses, Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me‘s creativity shines and through sparkling musicianship and innovation delivers a charming and well-realised modern prog offering. Your Dad will like this album. You might do too, but for different reasons – unless Your Dad is pretty cool.