Sounds from New Orleans in New York

Mute Math is one of the best musical talents to come out of the hurricane-battered city of New Orleans. Their concert at New York City’s Knitting Factory on Feb. 17 was deemed as their “Album Release Party.” There is no denying this Christian band’s passion for music and for God.

The quartet is composed of Paul Meany (frontman/Rhodes/keytar/ Atari), Greg Hill (guitars), Darren King (drums/samples/programming), and Roy Mitchell-Cardenas (bass). The guys have an amazing stage presence.

Meany definitely looks the most eccentric of the bunch with his long, jet black hair that requires heavy-duty hairspray and gel to achieve the spiky hairstyle he has. It is hard to watch his beanpole figure jump and dance all over the stage without getting a headache. He is like a 5-year-old with a sugar rush.

King has his own habit of duct taping his headphones around his forehead and chin which earns him praise from the audience. This has become a ritual for him since they started touring in January.

In 2004, the band released “Reset,” a seven track EP, which was put out by their indie label Teleprompt. This year they released their first full-length album which was only available at their show. Their songs are a mix of experimental and rock.

“Control” is a combination of beautiful melodies and hard rock, instantly pleasing the crowd with the sound of the first guitar chord.

“This is my four minute sprint to get as far away as I can from everything that compels me to maintain control,” said Meany in a interview. “My very nature wants me to play life as though it’s a chess match against circumstances. Always thinking 20 moves ahead can be exhausting. This song was written nothing short of an urgent prayer to find rest.”

“Peculiar People” is a combination of hip-hop and dance, and it even has a reggae vibe. It appeals to Christians today because it speaks of the band’s unwillingness to conform to a secular society. When this song is played at the concert, Meany proceeds to body-surf in the audience after he lets the video girl go feet-first into the audience. She loved every minute of it and did not seem to be upset and the audience loved it too.

The band’s instruments are as unique as the band members themselves. Meany plays a keytar, a keyboard that looks like a guitar. As if that does not look odd enough, they sported some of their own instruments on stage. They have taken apart old instruments from the 1970s by rewiring them and even creating their own instruments.

Everything the band did at the show was welcomed by the audience with praise. At the end of the evening, the audience shouted for the band to come back and play “Reset,” which is unusual because it is an instrumental song that combines different instruments like a keyboard, guitar, and synthesizer.

“We wanted our style and sound to have signature elements, but we weren’t afraid to set aside any boundaries that we’d previously set for ourselves,” said King in a interview. “We wanted songs that intrigued and connected with people from the first listen while making them think about things differently.”

Attending a Mute Math show is more than just listening to music; it is a time to get lost in it.