Mutemath is adding blues and funk to the equation. Mat Kearney is maturing with “Young Love.” And Los Lonely Boys remain in their own world.
All three acts have recent albums in tow for tours that arrive in the coming days at The Knitting Factory Concert House, 919 W. Sprague Ave. (Tickets for all three are available through www.ticketfly.com.)
Mutemath with Canon Blue
When: Saturday at 8 p.m.
Tickets: $23, $26
New Orleans electronic post-rock band Mutemath has both refined and redefined its sound on the latest studio set, aptly titled “Odd Soul.”
Mutemath’s third album in five years, 2011’s “Odd Soul” finds the quartet – with a slightly augmented lineup – dipping into blues and funk, while still expanding on its signature blend of synthetic textures and organic overlays.
“Odd Soul” is the first Mutemath album without guitarist Greg Hill, who left the group in 2010 and was replaced last year by Todd Gummerman. In the interim, bassist Roy Mitchell Cardenas shouldered all the guitar duties for the writing and recording of “Odd Soul.”
Throughout the record there are treks into rockin’ blues that recall the Black Keys, but there also remains the frenetic guitar lines, dreamtime ambience and psychedelic bass thumps atop pulsating laptop beats.
The first release, title track, and opening song on the album was offered up to fans in a remix contest, which even yielded a dubstep version of the song, further cementing “Odd Soul” as an album that ventures out of bounds while still coloring within the lines.
Mat Kearney with Robert Francis
When: Wednesday at 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20, $22
For Mat Kearney’s fourth album, the Oregon-born, Tennessee-based singer-songwriter looked to taxi-cab confessionals from total strangers, as well as his own personal life, for lyrical inspiration.
Before writing the words to 2011’s “Young Love,” Kearney became a licensed cab driver in Nashville, where chance exchanges with his passengers made their way into the real-life narratives that mingle on the record.
But in the end, the “Young Love” comes full circle, back to Kearney’s own personal narrative, as the album’s title is indicative of his recent marriage.
“Young Love” is exactly what fans have come to expect from a Kearney album, a balanced mix of hip-hop, adult alternative, and storytelling styles filtered through positive, spiritual themes of pain, love and redemption.
Mixing his affinity for hip-hop and groove-happy beats with spoken word and catchy hooks, Kearney’s cross-genre appeal also manages to cross faith boundaries.
Similar to previous outings, “Young Love” is a more seasoned Kearney who hasn’t lost sight of the fresh flavor that characterizes his sound. If anything, it’s more polished.
Los Lonely Boys with Patrolled By Raday
When: Thursday at 8 p.m.
After weathering some turbulence, Los Lonely Boys are back in the air, and on the lift of their own wings.
Following bassist/singer Jojo Garza’s vocal cord injury and a handful of canceled shows in 2010, Los Lonely Boys pushed back the release of “Rockpango,” the “Texican” trio’s first full-length studio album released by the band’s own Lonely Tone imprint for Playing in Traffic Records.
The Brothers Garza – Jojo, guitarist/vocalist Henry and drummer Ringo – channel equal parts Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santana over their “loosely tight” grooves on “Rockpango.”
The album stretches from hearty ballads to screaming rockers that show off the trio’s technical grace and prowess on their instruments, challenging themselves and one-upping each other while expanding on their repertoire of rock, Latin, country, soul, blues, and bits of hip-hop and jazz.
There is even an appearance by Kush, a rapper signed to the band’s label, at the end of “Fly Away.”
While the subject matter varies – from the drugged up “16 Monkeys” to the irreverent “Porn Star” – the music is wholly grounded in Los Lonely Boys’ genetic code of Tex-Mex rock-pop with a twist.
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