by Doug Moore
Okay, so Halloween was technically yesterday, but a lot of Halloween parties are happening this weekend, which means that there's still time to GET SPOOKY. And for all of your spooky-getting needs, we present Mutation.
Mutation is one of those supergroup side projects whose lineup sounds like the product of a boozy what-if conversation amongst three record store clerks with wildly different tastes. Though the project is helmed by Ginger Wildheart of The Wildhearts, it also features Merzbow, Shane Embury of Napalm Death, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Chris Catalyst of Sisters of Mercy / Eureka Machines, Rich Jones of Amen, Jon Poole of Cardiacs, and various other guest contributors.
Mutation's roster is diverse enough that it'd be hard to use it to guess what the music actually sounds like, aside from "weird" and "noisy." In practice, the band is both of those things, but their delivery is considerably more cohesive than the scattershot lineup implies. Their songs are built on jagged grind-plus-noise-rock foundations; each tune adds several layers of Mr. Bungle-esque freewheeling electronic noodling and zany vox delivered by Wildheart, Smith, and various others. And, surprisingly, the songs actually hold together -- they're not exactly hook-driven pop tunes, but you stand a pretty good chance of remembering them when they wrap up.
Mutation's new album, Error 500, is out now, fittingly via Mike Patton's Ipecac label. Check out two streaming songs an a clip of Smith's guest vocal tracking below.
Mark E. Smith recording with Mutation