THE MUTE GODS - Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me

The Mute Gods - Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me

11 songs
59:51 minutes
***** ***


Remember the Eighties when boy groups not only could sing, but also play their instruments? Take for instance Kajagoogoo and their mega-hit Too Shy which not only shaped an entire generation thirty-five years ago, but also had one of the coolest bass lines ever. Itís no wonder that their main songwriter Nick Beggs was a sought after session musician after his teenage boy band years. He played with a lot of popular artists (Kim Wilde, Tina Turner and frankly too many too mention), and later even set foot in the progressive rock community as a member of the live bands of Steven Wilson and Steve Hackett. Therefore itís no surprise that he teamed together with two musicians from those two live bands to form The Mute Gods. Roger King recently played keyboards in Steve Hackettís band and has also already a lot of session musician credentials (Gary Moore, Snoop Doggie Dog,...). Marco Minnemann is drumming for Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats and has played with countless other artists.

Itís hard to see if The Mute Gods will be a one-off project or a real existing band, but letís hope for the latter. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me is a pretty dark album with a dystopian leitmotif, highlighting the disillusion people have after living for more than fifty years and seeing that the worldís situation isnít really improving that much. Fortunately there is not so much despair to prevent these musicians from getting their anger transformed into modern progressive rock songs. The album starts with the title track, at nearly eight minutes the albumís longest track, and also a pre-release single. The song takes its time to build momentum, but once itís there, it wonít let you loose any time soon. Nick Beggs may never had got the credit he deserved for his vocal work in Kajagoogoo, as the more exuberant Limahl was more in the spotlight, but maybe now it finally will be clear that Nick Beggs has just the right voice for a melodic prog rock band. Marco Minnemannís drumming is functional, not as show-offy as one might have expected, but in the context of The Mute Gods, it is very fitting. Roger Kingís keyboards provide a lot of background on which the bass and guitar can soar. The following Praying To A Mute God is another winner, combining the bandís catchiness with its modern progressive rock edge. The latter is far away from the whimsical neo prog of bands like Marillion, IQ and Pendragon, but rather flirts with a more alternative rock approach known from bands like Kino, Frost and Pure Reason Revolution. Next up is a moody ballad with the strange title Nightschool For Idiots, and while I usually steer clear of mellower music, this is a really moving song with goosebump factor.

With the second single Feed The Troll, we enter the second third of the album, and this is where The Mute Gods canít convince so much. The songs are not bad, but somehow repeating what preceded (two heavy songs and one ballad) but without quite the same great songwriting. This part ends with the instrumental In The Crosshairs where the musicians can display their virtuoso skills. Nice enough but things will improve on the last third, starting with the mellow Strange Relationships where Nick Beggs shows once again that he has a really good hands at ballads, although the best one is yet to come. On Swimming Horses, the band is at their most retro prog, with mellotron sounds, and even if this comes a little unexpectedly, itís still a wonderful moment of intelligent rock music. Mavro Capelo feels a little cryptic but has a lot of secrets to discover. The concluding Father Daughter is the least progressive moment on the album, but also the secret highlight: a duet between Nick Beggs and his daughter from his first marriage. This is a very personal song that canít have been easy to record for the both of them. Lula Beggs is an accomplished singer in her own right and adds a soulful quality to this trip hop influenced ballad. Those not touched by this song must have a hard of stone.

My expectations werenít that high for Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me, but they have been surpassed by a lot. Having grown up in the Eighties, I still see Nick Beggs as the youthful bass player of Kajagoogoo. He still wears strange clothes today, but is a man in his mid-Fifties who has had enough time to refine his musical skills. Together with his talented band members Roger King and Marco Minnemann, he has crafted a modern piece of progressive rock music that feels ready for the twenty-first century. It would be nice to see these guys continue as a band in the future.

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