Milwaukee has always been a great destination for out-of-town bands. We have an ever-growing number of venues willing to take a flyer on bands from all over the country and the world, offering Milwaukeeans the unique opportunity to check out some truly amazing bands we might not otherwise get to see. In this installment, we take a look at Chicago piano-based trio Mutts.
Check Them Out
Playing a 5 p.m. set at Exclusive Company (free) tonight before opening for Maps & Atlases and Everest at Mad Planet, at 9 p.m. ($13).
What’s The Big Deal?
Since 20009, Chicago's Mutts has been churning out piano-infused garage rock, carried by the distinct vocals and keys of Mike Maimone. In that short time, the trio has managed seven releases, hundreds of shows and has experienced a sonic shift in the process. Mutts will be playing throughout the Midwest this summer, including another Milwaukee appearance next month, as well as a heft of Chicago-area shows and appearances in Ohio, Indiana and Iowa.
How’s The Latest Album?
Released in April, Mutts’ latest, Object Permanence, is a bleary-eyed collection of 11 songs befitting of a smoky Chicago lounge as bar time looms. Self-effacing hymnals offset sometimes tragic ballads in the band’s most solid effort to date. Maimone’s warbly voice meanders from a Tom Waits-tinged timbre to, oddly enough, a functional David Lee Roth-like howl and lands somewhere all its own.
What People Are Saying
“Mutts music embraces the inner turmoil, the things that are striven for, the ways that we fall short, the ways we're let down, as well as the few things that spark us back onto the right track, even if those are the rare moments, the briefest of comebacks.” – Sean Moeller, Daytrotter
“Object Permanence sees them unplugging their amps and digging into their jazz and blues roots, with Buckstaff scaling back to an upright bass and Maimone focusing on grand piano and organ. Comparisons to Tom Waits are inevitable, but more than just approximating one of Waits' styles or inhabiting one of his many characters, the band members use their own skills and world-weariness to develop an original take starting from Maimone’s perspective, from the bouncing 'If It's Hot It'll Sell' to the pointed New Orleans R&B number 'Pray Like a Vigilante' to the smoke-wafting closer 'Uncivilized.'" - Stephen Traseger, Nashville Scene Magazine
You can stream and download Mutts’ entire catalog here.