98 Mute - Slow-Motion Riot
Epitaph Records

This band has had an unavoidable knack for growing on me.  Their first two
albums I at first didn't enjoy all that much.  But after repeat listens, I
really got into their west coast hardcore style, and the singer's unique
voice.  As for this album, I can't say the same, totally.  Their style has
changed from their west coast hardcore style to more of a mixture of H2O,
AFI, and Pennywise [which to me is no good, because I only like H2O out of
those 3].  98 Mute has made the jump to Epitaph and with that comes a
bigger budget [I'm assuming] and a better producer in Fletcher from
Pennywise.  This is one of those instances where you wish they DIDN'T have
a good producer.  He makes the vocals sound too clean for my tastes, and
they sound more generic then they used to.  The music sounds a bit more
bland and quieter, also, and the album seems to have a lack of energy that
was displayed in their first two releases on Theologian.  Overall, this
isn't too bad of an album, and it's nice to see a good band like this get a
little more exposure via Epitaph, but if you really want to check these
guys out, pick up "Class Of '98" by them, it will rock your lily white ass.
...scott heisel...

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