Mutiny On The Bounty - Trails (Best Before)

On paper Mutiny on The Bounty are a Mathrock band from Luxembourg. Although the mathy tag is a touch misleading, in truth Trials is a slickly produced Postcore album with a particularly proficient pair of guitarists and glimpses of spirit and originality.

Released Sep 10th, 2012 via Best Before / By Henry Bainbridge
Mutiny On The Bounty - Trails (Best Before) As an album it takes a couple of tracks to get going, opening with a brooding, glitching electro pattern before dropping into a five minute instrumental of fiddly synth and hefty rhythm stabs. At The Drive-In are the obvious comparison although Mutiny may have a way to go in capturing ATDI's creative quirkiness.

It is not until fourth track 'Modern Day Robbery' that it is possible to see the potential the band has when they harness the urgency and youthful energy missing from the tracks previous. Although perhaps a little overblown, when the group is hammering together it's a powerful sound and most enjoyable at it's simplest.

The production on this album has taken a step up from previous output, with the drafting in of Pearl Jam and Mastodon producer. Through iPod headphones it sounds huge and vibrant but is surprisingly flat and lifeless through a proper stereo system, although we might not read to much into that as the review copy is MP3 format. What is troubling though is the inability of the mix to boost the often inconsistent vocals, which are occasionally raw and guttural but often thin and bland. Of course this is a hazard of the job for bands whose sound relies on virtuosity; weaker elements of the band tend to be exposed.

Mutiny's strength lies in their moments of dynamic power and emotion but the overwhelming impression is that the members of the group are often too interested in shining as individuals rather than as a unit. If they just got there heads down and banged out the tunes it could be a seriously hard-hitting set.

Statues builds into a raging and ragged monster and 'Mapping the Universe' is anthemic in it's simplicity. Free from the shackles of studio cleanliness and perfection I imagine the live set could be worth a look but as an album Trials is too often a frustrating lesson that technical proficiency and having listened to a couple of Battles records is no substitute for imagination.