Mutoid Man Credit: Jammi York

When Mutoid Man formed in 2012 it seemed its goal was simply to shred; and shred it did. Originally conceived as the two-piece of Stephen Brodsky of prog-rock-space-metal act Cave In on guitar and vocals and Ben Koller of obtuse artcore legends Converge on drums, Mutoid Man took the most over-the-top elements of their other bands and ran with them—combining eight-armed drumming, mind-numbing time-shifts, spaced-out guitar wizardry, and theatrical vocal hooks. Last summer Mutoid Man—now fleshed out to a trio with bassist Nick Cageao—released their third record, War Moans (Sargent House). As many techy hardcore dudes tend to do as they get a little bit older, they take a deep breath of sorts this time around. With a sharper focus on groove and melody, the album finds the band members laying out the most digestible, catchy choruses of their careers over straightforward driving rhythms. The shred still lives—the title track even features a guest guitar solo from speed-metal master Marty Friedman of Cacophony and Megadeth—but Mutoid Man’s love of pop and regular ol’ rock’n’roll is fully on display as well. Continuing with this formula, Mutoid Man’s latest project is an online cover series that started last month; the first track is a take on the swinging Tom Jones classic “She’s a Lady.”   v

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