On their six-song debut EP Jump Ship, Copenhagen quartet Mutt’s Company proudly brandishes a love of all things rock & roll. From Beatlesesque bombast to Americana to nitty-gritty blues, the songs on this record feel like a homage to the last 50 years of popular music. That’s not to say that anything on here feels stale; all of these influences are aptly mixed up and represented by this four-piece.
That said, the variety on this record does work against them a bit, only because Mutt’s Company does one specific thing – straight ahead, loud rock – excellently, and a few other things – mostly more ballad-y, contemplative stuff – merely pretty well. Two tracks here pop as standouts on first listen – the opening title track “Jump Ship,” which houses that Beatleish vibe already mentioned, and the raucous “Bad Diet,” an angry, fun blues-rocker that doesn’t let off your ears. The other four tracks on the disc don’t really match the intensity or energy of these two, and that’s likely by design – they’re softer, more sensitive, perhaps more musically complex. But after Mutt’s Company shows us what a powerful high-energy outfit they can be, a Kings of Leon-ish riff on roots music called “Country Song” seems like a speedbump more than another interesting texture.
If that preceding paragraph makes it sound like I didn’t enjoy this record, well, that’s not the case. Mutt’s Company is an incredibly appealing band to listen to; they’re tight, they’re good players, and they’ve got some wonderful production on this disc. Rasmus Nielsen’s lead vocals particularly delight; he’s got a throaty growl that can stand up with the best blues singers (for a more modern association, think The Black Keys). Nielsen and lead guitarist Jeff Jorgensen also create excellent twin guitar interplay; this is best displayed on the opening “Jump Ship,” which displays impressive guitar layering technique, especially for a young band’s first track right out of the gate.
Overall, Jump Ship feels like a new group playing with their influences and finding out what suits them best. There’s nothing wrong with that. The band’s having a lot of fun here, and chances are that if you like rock music you will too. But I suspect that future releases will see the group narrowing their focus, and while variety is, as they say, the spice of life, in this case a little more direction can only help hone these four talented individuals into a targeted, precise musical machine.
tags: mutt's company
My Best of 2012 Playlist by Eric Garneau
After being inspired by some friends, for the past few years I’ve been really into documenting my musical exploration with year-end mixes. I realize this is not a particularly novel thing to do, but hey, who has original ideas any more? Anyway, this has gotten even easier to do thanks to new technology like Spotify. read more