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Mutation: Error 500

Album Review

Arresting debut from eclectically minded super group

Mutation boasts Shane Embury (Napalm Death), Ginger Wildheart (The Wildhearts) and Jon Poole (Cardiacs), with guest appearances from Mark E Smith (The Fall) and Merzbow. Immediately noticeable is Cardiacs’ influence, on Utopia Syndrome and most prominently on White Leg, which practically sounds like it is in fact Cardiacs were they a metal band in a parallel dimension.

As the actual band is in indefinite hiatus due to its leader’s Tim Smith’s illness, hearing those wacky, jagged compositions and zany muppet football chant choir parts are cause for much excitement for fans of one of the most original of bands. Which leaves you, metal fans, to decide what to do with the rest. 

Protein sounds like a heavier, reinvigorated Nomeansno, but that won’t convince you. Computer, This is Not What I... grates a bit with what is by now familiar Ipecac-core: 90s grooves and ‘crazy’ music-for-musicians who are more interested in acrobatics than in music. It is great to hear Mark E Smith guesting on what is almost certainly the heaviest album he has ever contributed to, and sounding even more deranged than usual in the process, but all in all, this is a mixed bag.

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