Review: M.U.T.T. ‘Dirty Deeds’ EP

The band M.U.T.T. hail from San Francisco – a city that has produced notable artists and bands from just about any genre of music you could mention. But other than the acid-soaked psychedelia of the Grateful Dead I’d say that the second genre that I’d think SF is famous for is punk. M.U.T.T. deliver exactly the sort of fuzzed up, dirty, aggressive yet melodic punk that you think of when California is mentioned, and on the Dirty Deeds EP they do it really, really well.

M.U.T.T. 'Dirty Deeds' EP Artwork
M.U.T.T. ‘Dirty Deeds’ EP Artwork

Dirty Deeds comes as a follow-up to their 2022 album Bad To The Bone, which was a solid effort, but not something that really brought anything too exciting or revolutionary to the table. Certainly, in listening back-to-back with this release, the progression and overall vitality of the music bears little comparison. This new EP is everything that the previous album was, but turned up from 6 to 10, and with a hand-grenade thrown in for good measure.

Opening track Damaged has an almost Poison Idea level of aggression and threat. The band have spoken of trying and failing to put together a hardcore project following the demise of their previous band Culture Abuse – so maybe this is channelling that desire. There’s an early ‘90s Sub Pop vibe about the production, which is never a bad sound, and linked to this is a feint whiff of Tad about this first blast of noise.

Second track SF Is Killin Me is a minor classic in the making – it’s already made it onto two of my playlists – high praise indeed! Gone is the outright aggravation of Damaged, and in its place, we have a totally different mix of desperation and energy. Punk tracks where the band are bitching about their own hometown aren’t anything new, in fact it’s a punk staple, but when it’s done with this level of vigour and with a chorus that the kids will inappropriately sing along to in the car, then you know you’re on to a winner!

Dirty Deeds is eighteen and a half minutes of proper punk noise that will demand repeated spins…

Downtown Boy has something of the swagger and swing of Social Distortion – perhaps not altogether surprising based on them being California neighbours. (Author’s note: These ‘Californian neighbours’ are a 7-hour drive apart, which is like me saying bands from London and Glasgow sound the same! Moron).

Breaking The Law continues the theme and together these two tracks are the obvious link between their 2022 Bad To The Bone album and this new EP – they are more straightforward, less aggressive, and less progressive without a doubt. This isn’t to say they are poor tracks; far from it. From a positive perspective, these two tunes’ similarity to previous output means that the Dirty Deeds EP isn’t going to lose them any fans – it’s going to drag everyone along for the ride whether they like it or not.

The title track does something that the doom purists will appreciate – it hammers home the same riff repeatedly for five minutes straight. I can imagine them doing this at the end of a show and all hell breaking loose. The track slowly becomes more and more distorted until it ends with everyone’s ears bleeding, but in the best possible way. A cracking sign-off.

Dirty Deeds is eighteen and a half minutes of proper punk noise that will demand repeated spins for a lot of people – at least it would do if it was released on any physical format – currently, the only way of experiencing it is digitally via Bandcamp or streaming on the various platforms. There’s no doubt that SF Is Killin Me is the stand-out star of the show here, and is worth the $5 download on its own, but the other four tracks provide a worthy support act and whet the appetite for what comes next from M.U.T.T.

Label: Quiet Panic Records
Band Links: Bandcamp | Spotify | Twitter | Instagram

Scribed by: David J McLaren