Monday, December 26, 2011

Mutts-Pray for Rain CD Review

Chicago's Mutts released their full-length debut, Pray for Rain, late in 2011, but the album still managed to get the attention of college radio and select blogs before the holidays. We are happy to weigh in on this amazing, if divisive, collection of songs as the year races to a close.

Pray for Rain opens with "Fool," and it is clear from the noisy intro and band leader Mike Maimone's Tom Waits-style growl that we are in for one hell of a ride. "Not Ready" and "D.O.B." continue the pattern: cigarette-stained vocals, barroom piano and heavy drums and bass rule the day.

"Save Us" slows things down a bit; a taste of honey in the whiskey-soaked proceedings. "Throwback" tosses in some fuzzed-out organ; "Truth" flirts with glam rock and power pop; "Done it Again" reminds listeners that Maimone also pounds the keys for fellow Chicagoans Bailiff; "Real Bright" has a Beatles Jones; "Jessy" has a weakness for blues, funk and soul; "Show of the Century" is 44 seconds of circus nightmare teasing for call-to-arms closer "Putting on a Show."

Pray for Rain, like the Mutts stage show, is not for everyone. The album is too thick and greasy for most pop fans. That said, if you like music with some grit and noise, the album flails and lurches with enough gonzo abandon to make one punch-drunk after listening.

Mutts play The Empty Bottle on Monday, Jan. 23.

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