Thursday, July 10, 2014

Put Down the Muffin - Charged Particles (2014)

I think I posted something earlier this year or late in 2013 when they launched their Kickstarter campaign, which ended up being successful obviously since this album was just printed and I received a copy in the mail just a day ago.

Put Down the Muffin I 1st heard on KBEM radio in Minneapolis, one afternoon driving home from work like in 2007 or 2008. They were playing live, being interviewed, and promoting a concert they had coming up etc. I remember the DJ asked them about progressive rock and who their favorite band was and one of the members says "well I could lie and say something like Soft Machine, haha, but I'll admit, it's Rush."

Anyway, they kind of disappeared after that point, and I meant to see them live and never was able to. That is why seeing their return of sorts recently online and then this album was kind of a big deal to me.

I have now listened to it twice and I can say I am certainly enjoying a lot of it. Stylistically, they are a jazz fusion group of a kind, but on this record, they go into some other genres to a point as well. I suppose 1 band I was reminded of at times was Tangled Thoughts of Leaving. Their use of keys and synths as not only for atmosphere, but actually a lead melody of a kind.

There are not really vocals exactly, but on 1 or 2 tracks there are what sounds like vocal lines, played backwards. "Limbic Fever" which I probably would say is my favorite track overall. The synth melody is kind of dreamy and ethereal, almost like Minus the Bear or something.

To mention some others: Aqua McGreen, Bed Foil, Arab Baker, Einstein Was Wrong and Mr.Potts all stood out in different ways. The 1st part of this album does resemble some classic Jazz Rock like Return to Forever or Weather Report. But as it goes on, it seems they do show the variety of styles they include.

I suppose you could call these kind of a hodgepodge of mostly instrumental Jazz-Rock incorporating Post-Rock, soundtrack-like textures and emphasizing synths and piano at times. Now, they still do use guitar quite a bit, even on some tracks as an equally lead instrument. But it does sound like they may use more than 1 keyboard or synth texture as there is a variety on this album. At times it almost resembles like Circus music or something.

I do also dig the way they use samples (something I totally love when used well).

One of the better local and instrumental records from 2014 certainly, and a record I look to spend more time with certainly the rest of this year/season.

This album doesn't appear to be available yet unless you backed their Kickstarter. But given they have a Bandcamp page

I wouldn't be surprised to see it up for sale there soon among other spots (Amazon, CDBaby, etc).

Put Down the Muffin on Facebook

Photo: Hot off the presses!

1 Mr. Potts  5:23
2 Nightline News  4:02
3 Aqua McGreen  4:34
4 Hüba Güba  7:25
5 Claire the Loon 3:04
6 Oo˩          5:52
7 Bed Foil  4:10
8 Limbic Fever  6:30
9 Einstein Was Wrong 3:54
10 Temporary Fix 1:07
11 Arab Baker 3:54
12 Ten Miles to Waconia 5:48