The way Mutoid Man blends metal savagery with rock and roll catchiness is mind-blowing. Take the opening track “Melt Your Mind” off of War Moans (Sargent House), the guitar riffs come with a consistent heat as the rhythm whirls around and pops. The racing pace shoots forward, popping with vibrancy in bright guitar work and vocal inflection. This is just one of the many treats that make up War Moans, and its terrific blend of metal aggression, rock and roll attitude, and poppy tinges.
The album comes with a rather unique theme in sexuality, specifically how things can become sexualized, and how society views sex as a whole. The record is pretty forward in these themes, especially with lines like, “Came inside Satan’s daughter/ nine months later, who’s the father?” With this, Mutoid Man present another work that captures a multitude of shades, vibes, and sounds. War Moans keeps the attitude at a pretty steady direction of aggression for a majority of its run time. That said, the album also tosses in some bouncy and fun electric rock. The drum work is always like that of a locomotive, constantly blasting its engines away. Most of the record’s flavor comes from the guitar, which has its moments of shredding riffs, to fluid smooth jams. The bass and vocals both add an attitude in their fuzz and various rockabilly-like inflections (respectively).
“Bone Chain” is fairly similar to the structure and style of the opening track. It goes for a time with clashing cymbals and hefty riffs, to lifting up the mood with sensual moans and playful guitar rhythms. “Micro Aggression” has the drumming going nonstop in its beat down, while also introducing a piercing sound to the guitar. “Kiss of Death” is the first time in four songs where the record slows things down. There’s a bluesy mood to the track with the guitar tone layering on the fuzz and coming off with more of heat. Minus the speed, the drumming comes down just as hard, but spacing its intensity throughout the track to provide more of a balance.
Just in its very beginning, War Moans already presents so much of a delectable buffet of goodies to seduce its audience. The rest of the album provides just as much flexibility, excitement, and wonder. “Wreck and Survive” is another moody jammer, tossing in some shocking moments of noise that sting the eardrums, before dropping into a bluesy-rock crawl. “Afterlife” plays to chaotic pacing that shoots from solid drive, to spinning in circles like a monster truck on fire. Specifically, the guitar mixes in various styles of speed and contrasting tones, displaying an interesting use of tempo shifts. The final track, “Bandages”, is one of the most surprising songs on the record. Given that it’s the last title, it is unlike anything else heard previously, showing off new shades of emotion, depth, and sound. There’s much more of a weight in emotion that is warm and somber.
Mutoid Man’s War Moans is an absolute joy of an album. It’s fun, wild, and a technical treat in style and tone. There’s a lot of blending, and being able to exactly hit that middle ground of heavy that meets catchy. Mutoid Man doesn’t just land right where they want to be, but expand that sound to greater heights. War Moans is surely going to get listeners coming for more and more.