The Mute Gods is a solo project for bassist extraordinaire Nick Beggs. Beggs has become a very in-demand player in the prog genre, having played with Steve Hackett, Steven Wilson, Fish on Friday and Lifesigns to name a few. The Mute Gods are Beggs along with drummer Marco Minnemann (who he worked with in the Steven Wilson band) and keyboardist Roger King (who he knew from playing with Steve Hackett.
While The Mute Gods are listed as a band, make no mistake that this is Beggs’ project. He is the writer and vocalist, in addition to his usual role as bassist. Musically, the album does have an overall prog vibe but more prevalent is the pop sensibility throughout. Let’s not forget that Nick Beggs was in 80s pop band Kajagoogoo. While none of this is as fluff as that band, every song is quite hooky and rely more on song-crafting than how many notes can be played. In that regard, you can tell that Steven Wilson has perhaps rubbed off on Beggs a little bit.
The album starts with the top notch title track which really rocks and allows Minnemann do really cut loose with his patented fills. There’s really no mistaking who is on drums. The next two tracks are just as great. “Praying to a Mute God” makes for a great follow up to the first track. It’s another upbeat rocker. It also showcases Beggs ability to harmonize with himself vocally. Overall, I am not keen on him as a lead vocalist. He’s good but he really is better when there is more than one voice, even if it’s his!
The third track wound up being the most interesting to me. The title is quirky, “Night School for Idiots.” The song itself is a mid tempo ballad of sorts. It’s really poppy and light. I shouldn’t like it but I fucking love it. The lyrics are some of the most clever, self-deprecating ever written. If you thought there was no new way to say “hey I fucked up,” think again!
From there, things start to slide for me. “Feed the Troll” feels more like a Steven Wilson song which is fine but I think Wilson’s voice would fit it better. It’s a good song though. “Your Dark Ideas” and “Strange Relationship” don’t quite do it for me. Again, Beggs’ voice and seeming need to be clever lyrically just don’t connect with me.
The biggest dud for me is the closing track “Father Daughter” which he sings with his daughter. She has a nice voice and all but the topic is too personal for me to connect to on any level. Musically, it’s rather dull. I struggled to get through it without repeatedly rolling my eyes!
All in all, “Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me” is a good album with some great moments but it drifts off as it goes. I think it’s awesome that the ultimate sideman gets the spotlight. Nick Beggs is very talented and The Mute Gods prove that he can do more than be one of the best bassists on the planet.
Tracklist (standard edition):
1. Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me
2. Praying To A Mute God
3. Nightschool For Idiots
4. Feed The Troll
5. Your Dark Ideas
6. In The Crosshairs
7. Strange Relationship
8. Swimming Horses
9. Father Daughter