Mutiny On The Bounty

Digital Tropics

Written by: TL on 23/07/2015 20:38:17

Luxembourg math rockers Mutiny On The Bounty tore smaller venues around Europe a new one following the 2012 release of their highly unique-sounding debut album "Trials", but have since then taken some quiet time to perfect their sophomore "Digital Tropics", which they then released in May. On the new album, the quartet has omitted the coarsely shouted vocals that at times featured on the debut, making an entirely instrumental record this time around.

If you haven't heard the band before, you're not going to leave this review much wiser, because their sound is hard to describe, although the title of the new album is fitting. The extremely effect-laden guitars can easily conjure mental images of the tropics, and at times the music almost sounds like calypso on amphetamine, although the ebb and flow is ultimately more likely inspired by a wider selection of the more intense dance music out there. For where most instrumental bands seem to go for patient and sweeping, cinematic movements, Mutiny On The Bounty has such qualities in their atmospheres, sure, but at the front their music is much more physical, sounding like something built for those that like to dance wildly, who feel like ordinary dance music is too simple and tame.

Hard and unpredictable rhythms provide the often-changing pulse to the band's sound, while the dual guitars swirl around each other, soliciting mental imagery of fireflies streaking through the night and spiders dancing across strings at fast-forwarding speeds. The entwined leads bubble and burst while atmospheric effects wax and wane in the back, making for a complex yet carefully orchestrated experience where the shifts in energy are built in exactly the way that keeps your mind and your feet fully occupied, yet always stays clear of becoming nonsensical.

Listening to "Digital Tropics" is hence unique if nothing else, yet while it is quite easy to imagine how captivating the sounds could truly be when added the physical effect on the body that comes when seeing a band live, one does start to feel the constraints to the band's conceptual style down the stretch of this second album. The tone and feel of Mutiny On The Bounty has not changed dramatically, if much at all, since "Trials", and while their singing was clearly their weakest element on the first record, going entirely without it does put a weight on the instruments that they do not quite have variety to carry for a front-to-back headphone listen. The difference from song to song almost becomes strictly mathematical, as the band throws patterns and tempos around like there's no tomorrow, yet consistently channels a very similar overall feel.

Ultimately, "Digital Tropics" is still a better listen than most, both for how unusual it is and for the unquestionable, unrestrained musical skill and creativity that it offers. It is awesome, and it is something else, but whether you'll feel significantly touched by it to seek it out specifically for years to come - like we demand from album's given the highest grades - it does not quite leave you 100% convinced.

Download: Dance Automaton Dance, Countach
For The Fans Of: Annasaid, Foals, Dance Gavin Dance

Release date 25.05.2015
Redfield Records / Small Pond Recordings / Deaf Rock Records / Friend Of Mine

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