Extreme Noise Terror!
Ginger Wildheart and Scott Lee Andrews brought the Mutation project to Manchester's Deaf Institute on a Sunday night and promptly attempted to make the venue live up to its name! Despite being on their third album, Dark Black, Mutation have never toured before. The turn out is solid if not packed but the reception from the crowd belies the numbers and they remain vocal throughout.
The band take to the stage without ceremony and nothing more than a cursory salute to the crowd from Ginger. When they start playing it's like standing next to a jet engine! This is raw, fast, intense and very loud. The sheer energy and volume of Mutation make this feel more like an experience than a regular gig. In between songs there is no talking, none of Ginger's usual witty banter; instead there is a continuous squeal of computer generated white noise that along with pulsing bright lights, all helps to ramp up the pressure the longer it continues.
With such a massive sound being generated it's hard to pick out the riffs at times and whilst that doesn't particularly matter for much of the set, it is a shame that the infectiously catchy chorus of Irritant gets lost in the mix. Star of the show tonight has to be drummer Denzel. He puts in a phenomenally tight and impressive performance that holds the whole thing together, whilst Ginger and Scott look fully immersed in their craft, which is not surprising given the speed and complexity of the songs. Ginger swaps guitar for bass half way through but this has no noticeable effect on the overall sound.
They play for less than an hour and leave the stage with as little ceremony as they arrived and on reflection, that's exactly how it should be for Mutation. It is what it is; extreme, noisy, brutal and there's nothing to be said beyond the crushing sonic attack that they generate. They have something in amongst the wall of sound that hits the right button and keeps you wanting more. The music Mutation make is hard work but it's strangely rewarding.