Make the most of life 'cause you never know
What's around the corner, everything could go
A fear, a fear of the unknown
Don't look behind, don't think ahead
You never know when it could be said
One day, everything could go away
The above lyrics are from our track of the week, “When The Sun Explodes” by The Muted and when I first heard this song a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to feature it on Music to Celebrate Life. Not only was it a great punk-flavored rock song (the type I haven’t really featured yet), its theme seemed a perfect fit for the blog.
Unpredictability of life is something we rarely truly think about, the fact that it could be all over in an instant. The truth is we never know what will happen next. We think we do but the fact is that we really don’t. This same fact applies to everything in life, not just our misfortunes. However, it’s through our misfortunes that we usually become aware of life’s unpredictability. No one really starts complaining about winning the lottery all of a sudden or falling in love unexpectedly. No, our inability to predict life becomes an issue only when life throws us down on our knees.
In their song, “When The Sun Explodes,” The Muted ask, “Why is life so hard?” It’s a rhetorical question but I feel the need to respond to that by saying that I have no idea. I’ve pondered on this same thing for years. And the closest I’ve ever come to solving this problem was when I realized that people are difficult and complex. One of my university lecturers had a habbit of saying, “So, life is hard! But if the world came to an end tomorrow, where in your list of priorities would this worry be?” He kept telling us to put things in perspective. The problem with that for most of us obviously is the fact that the world is not coming to an end tomorrow and so we keep developing headaches over things like punctured tires, toilet seats left up, mirrors stained with toothpaste, the garbage that hasn’t been taken out, chipped teeth, pulled muscles, stale bread, angry boss, unpleasant colleagues, distant siblings and difficult spouses. What can I say, it’s life. We all want it to be perfect so badly that when it isn’t, we become preoccupied with what we don’t have and forget to count our blessings.
The Muted delivers this message with attitude. “When The Sun Explodes” is one of those tunes that starts off with very little (a guitar riff augmented with hi-hat accents) but gathers power as it progresses. By the time the first chorus explodes in your face, you know it’s going to be a great track. You’ll have your foot tapping, fingers snapping, head bobbing and if you are like me, develop an urge to light up at least five cigarettes simultaneously and pour yourself a stiff drink – kids, don’t try that at home…or anywhere for that matter!
Here’s another things that’s cool about the track. These days, lead vocals on most songs are so incredibly over produced and edited (even in alternative/indie rock) that I must say, it was refreshing listening to one that wasn’t. The vocal on “When The Sun Explodes” is old school through and through and yes, it is rough around the edges but so what? This is what a good punk rock vocal should sound like – you are not really supposed to hit every note spot on in this genre, just the important ones. So, forget the two hundred takes, the autotune and the harmonizer, here’s how it should be done for music like this. The Muted is certainly nailing what music in their genre should sound like. What’s more, songwriting on this track is strong throughout. Both the melody and the lyrics work well. Other highlights are the ever-changing but carefully written guitar licks and the rather creatively played savage drums. I’m really enjoying both the performance as well as the sonic atmosphere on this song.
In case you are wondering who The Muted are, here’s what they told me about the group:
We are two brothers, and we have been creating music together for a number of years. We first started playing around with some instrumental stuff and then later decided to add vocals. We soon had written a whole album (“Ripped Jeans And Snakebites”) which was released at the end of March this year, under the name 'The Muted'.
I want to encourage everyone who likes punk rock or garage rock to go and check out the Ripped Jeans And Snakebites album as it is a great collection of tracks much in the same vein as “When The Sun Explodes.”
About unpredictability, there’s a joke my uncle used to tell to point out how unpredictable life is. Going to the doctor for instance, he argued, can sometimes be more unpredictable and eye opening than you would have guessed. Hopefully, you’ll have a good laugh when reading your way through this.
A man goes to the doctor: “I don’t think my wife’s hearing is as good as it used to be. What should I do?”
The doctor says: “Try this test to be sure. When your wife is in the kitchen, stand fifteen feet behind her and ask her a question. If she doesn’t reply, keep moving closer asking the question until she hears you. This is how we find out how serious her hearing problem is.”
The man goes home and his wife is preparing dinner.
He stands fifteen feet behind her and says: “What’s for dinner, honey?”
No answer so he moves to ten feet behind her and asks again. Still no response so he moves to five feet. No answer. Finally, he stands directly behind her and says: “Honey, what’s for dinner?”
His wife turns around, looks agitated and yells at him: “For the fourth bloody time, I SAID CHICKEN! CHICKEN! CHICKEN!”
You can learn more about The Muted here:
About the curator - Tommi Tikka
Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.