Christmas is an assault course with various obstacles in your way between the starting line and Christmas Day: planning, shopping, ordering, shopping, wrapping, cooking, eating, drinking, eating, drinking, arguing, eating, drinking, laughing, eating, drinking, and so on. It’s the kind of logistical nightmare normally only attempted by the military or haulage firms. The Mute Servants EP is an assault of a different kind. Whereas Phil Spector’s wall of sound is layer upon layer of multitracked instruments re-recorded in an echo chamber, the Mute Servant’s Robert Davis has an attic full of amplification which he pushes to cone warping levels to create a battering sound that’s like a hurricane full of spanners.
On this EP are 8 tracks running at 12 minutes “recorded and mastered at maximum volume and without dynamic range” as a response to all the things that anger Davis, resulting in him disappearing “up the ladder into the attic to record music…screaming into the eaves like an angry bat”. It was released at midnight on Christmas Day so, while Santa was flying round the world defying time and space all the little punk kids will have gone to sleep in the hope that their punk parents would be picking up a copy of the limited 7” vinyl release.
If you are bracing yourself for a barrage of Christmas playlists today, I would suggest sneaking this in as the perfect musical antonym to the usual Christmas music but be warned, this is like adding NOx to Santa’s sleigh. With such exhilarating punk perfection don’t be surprised if you get a mosh pit in the front room instead of charades.
Review by Paul F Cook