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Mutado Pintado - 336W 17th St (Review)

Mutado Pintado, 336W 17th St

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

MUTADO Pintado, aka Clams Baker, has delivered his first audio biography, 336 W. 17th St, a tale of 11 years in and out of New York City’s underbelly. The results veer wildly between thrilling and frustrating.

Described as “a kaleidoscopic collision of musical influences”, this drifts from the hip-hop-tinged opener King Of The Worker Bees, to the punky frenzy of Juanita‘s guitar fuzzy, via the sunshiny drone-pop of Keep On Flying. At least it’s diverse. But sometimes it feels messy.

At its best, the album does throw in tracks like King of The Worker Bees, which combines those hip hop elements with breezy guitar licks and a bright and breezy rap that puts a smile on your face. It’s reminiscent of artists like Just Jack and Sublime.

The Tick, which has the support of Lauren Laverne among others, has a blues-rock meets psychedelic feel that could even be comparable to Beck, while Keep on Flying genuinely does boast that sunshine vibe… its beats impossibly catchy and toe-tappy and its cheeky lyrics impossible to ignore. It’s almost like Eels doing Susan’s House on acid.

But Juanita is the sound of Mutado Pintado getting a little too carried away and the wall of noise that results is just plain irritating. Likewise, final track Sunday Morning, which is a little too repetitive, and Flight 151, which despite a promising start never really takes off despite seeming to emulate Cake vocally.

The frustration from listening to the album is therefore derived from the wild swings in quality. For while the ill-conceived moments tend to grate, the good moments are genuinely good. Disco Lullaby is another fine example of Mutado Pintado at his best, again dropping in another style (synth-pop meets alt-folk) and winning you over.

Hence while admittedly uneven, 336W 17th St has enough in its arsenal to be worth checking out. It just could have been so much better.

Download picks: King Of The Worker Bees, Keep On Flying, Disco Lullaby

Track listing:

  1. King Of The Worker Bees
  2. The Tick
  3. Keep On Flying
  4. Juanita
  5. Blue (Gluid Remix)
  6. Carbon Copies
  7. Disco Lullaby
  8. Flight 151
  9. I Kill What I Eat
  10. Sunday Morning