MuteMath

Saturday, January 21, at the Proletariat, 903 Richmond, 713-523-1199.

One of the first things an '80s-reared rock dilettante realizes upon first listening to MuteMath's soon-to-be-released, self-titled debut album is that vocalist Paul Meany sounds uncannily like Police-era Sting. In fact, it's easy to simply ponder that similarity and zone out on this soaring cloud-pop (think Doves, U2). But where Sting took lyrical influence from the dream psychology of Carl Jung, Meany's inspiration is most likely pulled from the Good Book. Although any overt "worship" has been insidiously hidden under a hooky, spaced-out cloak (you won't find any mention of the J-man on the band's official Web site or MySpace page, and publicity materials are religion-free), every once in a while a lyric concerning flying on the wings of eagles or surrendering to "perfect grace" tips off the careful listener to the band's spiritual mission. Like fans of U2, though, MuteMath's following may ignore the churchy undertones and simply appreciate the secular rewards -- this isn't "gospel rock," after all, and Meany isn't a proselytizer. Actually, the band seems more concerned with showing off its collection of rebuilt-hybrid-theremin-keyboard-geeketry and other assorted gadgets than praising His name. Invoking the right to remain silent on matters spiritual seems to be the going trend for faith-based music. Go stealth, lest you receive the number of the beast. Until the Rapture, MuteMath is making a case for melody and soul in an underground scene drowning in irony and whine. Fellow faithful Vedera (formerly Veda) and locals Slovak Republic open.

 
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