"Circles (Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know)" by The Muthas

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"Circles (Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know)" by The Muthas

Review

Making their debut in "Hot Music Live" today are The Muthas: the reason being that their debut single "Circles (Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know)" is today out (at 1800) on Gone Riffin' Records (that's a good name isn't it?).

The band, who are comprised of  Joseph Rudman on guitar & vocals, Ben Davies on bass guitar (both from Luna and the Moonhounds) and drummer Zeke Martin (whom we've previously mentioned in the context of his work with Shanghai Hostage & The Rollocks), helpfully self-identify as playing "blues/rock/funk/pop/soul" so clearly being constrained by a specific genre isn't part of their plan (that someone had earlier described them to me as a punk band adds yet another partial interpretation).

They even have what I take to be a group mission statement which deserves a share in full: "Get ready for a wild sonic ride with The Muthas! These funky brothers are united not by blood but Love! Their passion for the irresistible pocket where The Groove resides, resting its eyes, and the obtuse angles of movement that by the body can't be denied. Prepare to be hooked as you embrace the irresistible rhythms and the infectious beat that make your body move beyond even your own control. Join us and surrender to the undeniable groove of The Muthas". Even more succinctly, they wish us to know how much they enjoy playing together: which not only is most important, but is readily ascertained from playing the song.

Yet another from the astonishing line of unusual & groundbreaking acts being recorded by Jon Webb at The Moonbase, "Circles (Tell Me Something I Don't Already Know)" is everything which a band with talent, intelligence and self respect should be: that is to say, a clear statement of intent to be themselves & not to try obsequiously curry favour with a potential audience by copying existing bands. It's bold & decisive and captured my attention instantly. I believe it will have the same effect on you & others.

A frankly freaky track (that's fine by me), its idiosyncrasies stay well on the right side of the accessibility line while nudging up tightly against it with structural peculiarities and elements like vocals treated as if delivered inside a metal storage container. Despite such craziness, this is a fine rock performance by a band who live up to their own aspirations: clearly The Groove is central to their sense of being and their words are fully backed up by their playing. The Funk is very much present & correct and if others perceive punk elements, then I get that too in the rawness & commitment to stripping their music of unrequired adornments. Of course, there is a respected tradition of melding the two: as listening to the Gang of Four, Talking Heads or the Au Pairs etc reveals.

There are also touches of eastern mystery to add spice, yet as a counterpoint, a throbbing, simple (we're talking minimalist here) riff repeatedly intervenes, stretched way out to rack the tension right up. This is needed as the vocal gets pretty anguished at times as the narrator is reduced to howling in frustration (given the aforementioned effect applied to this, the overall sound is not a million miles away from that of early 1970s John Lennon during his primal therapy phase) with a beautifully terse & snarling guitar solo acting as final punctuation.

Already working on their first album (they have an April release date in mind), look out for The Muthas at The Tin on November 10th and for a music video on 20th December.

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