twenty one pilots may be one of the most popular bands in the world right now, but MUTEMATH hasn't reached quite the same popularity. While the two bands toured together extensively this past year, twenty one pilots touring for their 2015 effort Blurryface "and the wild success of the "Suicide Squad" hit 'Heathens' while MUTEMATH has been on the road in support of 2015's Vitals.
Both records are phenomenal and original, but with their elements put together, it's a whole other story. The two bands have come together for a brand new EP titled TOPxMM (the MUTEMATH Sessions) that sees the members of the bands working together to recreate some of twenty one pilots' signature tracks. The brilliant electronic atmosphere of Vitals paired with the weird and distant lyrics of Blurryface bring the songs to a new, haunting light.
The album kicks off mysteriously with a new version of 'Heathens.' This track perfectly sums up this collaborative effort. The song is brought in by a beautiful, dark synth intro full of slow, droning sounds that create a haunting scene. Tyler Jospeh brings the vocals in with a different disposition than the original - rather than the victimized, broken down delivery from the studio version, this track offers a more ghastly, almost empty delivery that gives the song a new dimension. It's not as inviting as the original, but its certainly more heavy in terms of emotion. The instrumental is packed full of beautiful, reverberating pianos and synths that give the barebones composition some more power.
'Heavydirtysoul' follows through with the same evil, alarming voicing its original version has. The synths are more pronounced and expansive, giving the song an extra boost in the bass and drive. 'Lane Boy' is next, showing off the electronic elements MUTEMATH can provide. The bridge is phenomenal, the synths being piled together seemingly erratically before Josh Dunn delivers some powerful drums.
Two other big singles from twenty one pilots follow up: 'Ride' is first. The song features much the same vibe, with a different adventure present within its words. There's something in the arpeggiating synths that really give the song a more cheerful vibe, the reggae voicings still seeping through. You can't take away this song's ability to get everyone to sing along to its iconic groove. Even with the new added drama, this song is massive. The song explodes into another massive synthy blast as it reaches its end, again showcasing the prowess of MUTEMATH. The EP ends on a new version of 'Tear In My Heart,' a 90s-esque instrumental supporting the song's cheerful vibe.
twenty one pilots and MUTEMATH are both monsters as their own, and bring them together and you get a project you didn't know you needed. The epic collaboration TOPxMM begs for more work between the two bands, and shows a healthy relationship between the two fanbases as they conjoin. It's a great final hurrah for both bands as 2017 rolls in - it'll be exciting to see how the year treats them.
Favorite Tracks: Heathens, Ride, Heavydirtysoul
Least Favorite Track: Tear In My Heart
Rating: 88 / 100
Buy or listen to TOPxMM here: