taking a listen

by Ryan Snyder

reviews of the moment


For their debut EP, Greensboro quartet Mutant League has put together a four-song offering that’s built around a singular idea: Euphonious pop melodies meet blissed-out feedback, distortion and reverb. But its noise isn’t the thin, trebly wash of their noise pop forbearers. Mutant League’s sound is thick and tactile, with five parts each given equal attention by producer Kris Hilbert.

Opener “Aloha” is an instrumental tour de force that could’ve had a home on the Cure’s Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. There are no vocals, but then again it’d be near impossible to capture the kind of exultant joy found in the song’s “chorus” in words. The segue into “Ghost” feels seamless and natural, with twinkling guitar riffs pick ing right up and leading into front man Tyler Byers sleepy vocals.

But therein lies the rub of the EP. The vocals are almost completely blanketed by the wool of reverb and texture. You have to trust that Byers is conveying something as lyrically thoughtful as the music would suggest, as but what truly impresses is the way the songs, from the hypnotically droning instrumental to tightly wound and catchy pop passages, hold together in a single sitting.


Mutant League will hold their EP release party at Legitimate Business on Friday, July 8 and end the weekend at the Super Mega Ibrahim Explosion at the Millennium Center on Sunday.