Category Archives: MUTTER SLATER BAND
When Slater is dispensing heavy truths and Chris Cleave is delivering mournful guitar lines, the sense of alienation is so strong that it’s impossible not to wonder whether those stones, once gathered, could become material for the impenetrable obstacle of “There’s A Wall” – a gloomily glimmering finale of a rather moody record.
This is why affairs of the heart may be the only remedy our here and now need, so even though “Something We Knew As Love” – a sax-smeared and organ-oiled slice of soul – is stricken with reminiscences about better times, it’s defiantly jubilant, as is the “Caroline Motion” whose punchy funk is bristling with brass – a pity Mutter’s flute doesn’t join the reeds’ ensemble on this album – only to announce another death wish. Still, his voice fills the languid, “against the wall” resignation of “Losing It” with mellifluous acceptance, and the equally lucid “Love Is The Stranger” turns the optimism of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” – Mutter’s reference point – into murky perspective. As a result, spiritual sway would only be logical for “Folding” to roll towards screaming abandon and to the quiet understanding of “Weird Kid” which should let some country-kissed sunshine in.
Not for nothing “You’re The Reason” is upbeat – and, having a reggae tinge, offbeat, too: if the ground is shaky, there’s a need for something solid to hold on to… so perhaps, the time has come to gather those stones and pave the road to future. That’s what Mutter Slater is trying to tell the world. ****
DMME.net (December 2018)
The latest addition to Mutter’s impressive back catalogue mines a rich vein of polished melodicism, and devotees of his work in the past would be well advised to lend an ear to heartfelt creations such as ‘Love Is The Stranger’, ‘Weird Kid’ and ‘Field Of Stone’ itself.
Kevin Bryan, regional newspapers (November 2018)
…there’s a great deal of melancholy in Field Of Stone with only ‘You’re The Reason’ bringing the sole real glimpse of optimism. And yet I call it enjoyable. I guess I can relate to where Mutter is coming from – ‘Weird Kid’ and ‘There’s A Wall’ both resonate with me – and if you’re feeling bad this is the album to feel bad to. 4/5 stars
RnR Magazine (November 2018)
Field Of Stone is the Mutter Slater Band’s latest album…Billy Bragg said of Mutter Slater: “He has one of the greatest voices in British Rock and he writes a mean song too”…Also available on Angel Air Records featuring Mutter Slater is the previous album ‘The Champ’ and ‘Stackridge – The Final Bow, Bristol 2015′.
Bev Bevan, Sunday Mercury (October 2018)
This veteran performer is best remembered these days for his quirky exploits with prog rockers Stackridge almost half a century ago, but Mutter Slater has been blessed with one of the finest voices in British rock and he now has an opportunity to indulge his genuine passion for R&B, blues and soul via splendid albums such as this. The latest addition to Mutter’s impressive back catalogue mines a rich vein of polished melodicism, and devotees of his work in the past would be well advised to lend an ear to heartfelt creations such as “Love Is The Stranger,” “Weird Kid” and “Field Of Stone” itself.
Original Rock.net (October 2018)
The album finishes with a wonderful ballad ‘I’m Not The Man’ where Mutter SLATER offers a new song of love with a sequence of flute in the finale…The MUTTER SLATER BAND gives you the assurance of having a good time.
Highlands Magazine (Translated – August 2017)
…His second sees a five piece band – subtle guitar, rich sax, hammond – used to startling effect; a progressive West Country reinvention of Gulf Coast roadhouse rock ‘n’ soul music. The slow arm title track would make Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham smile. ‘Why Are You Talking To Me?’ rocks with selfish abandon and yet ‘Even Love?’, with Mutter’s echoing flute, could eerily be a modern Stackridge number. All with one of the greatest unsung voices in British music at the fore.
Record Collector Magazine (November 2016)
Champ is an album of sophisticated rock with a retro feel. In fact, there isn’t that much flute and the chief instrument is Clive Ashley’s tenor saxophone underpinned by Tom Hughes’ organ and a solid rhythm section. Nor is there much of the eccentricity of Stackridge, although ‘Icing On The Cake’ could well date from them, cleverly playing with a pun on ‘counter culture’. It’s a great song, as is ‘A Day On The Town’, which reminds me oddly of Ray Davies – world weary and bluesy with its finger on the pulse of a seedy pub, and restrained lead guitar from co-producer Chris Cleaver. The title track is pure melancholy with sax and organ playing a tired duet. The band is extremely tight, as it should be after ten years and three previous albums, and it all sounds effortless. If I called it laid back you might get the wrong idea because there’s an edge to all the songs and a sting in the lyrics.
R2 Magazine (November 2016)
The name Mutter Slater is familiar to many people, mostly in Great Britain as Slater was the frontman and flute player for many years in the critically-acclaimed pop band Stackridge. Now that the band is sadly no more, individual members are (thankfully) continuing to make music. As you might expect, Slater’s music has changed and evolved since his days playing pure pop in Stackridge. The Champ finds him writing and recording songs heavily influenced by American blues, soul, and rhythm and blues. Slater’s voice adapts beautifully to this style of music. These tracks have a nice smooth sound, and an overall laidback vibe. Joining Mutter on these recordings are Chris Cleaver, Clive Ashley, Dan Wheeler, Tom Hughes, and Ian Oliver. Nine relaxed pensive cuts including “Even Love?”, “Icing On The Cake,” “The Champ,” and “I’m Not The Man.”
babysue (October 2016)
In sound it’s still the 70s, a blend of the folk, rock and the psychedelic that reminded us of Traffic. It could be a little heavy handed but it’s not, Slater having a good ear for melody and still wielding a mean flute. Opener ‘Even Love?’ is a slower, bluesy rock tune that’s not the best but does indicate what’s to come, with flute and sax. The next song, ‘Your Love Affair With Pain’, is funkier and more on the pop side, with some nice sax. Elsewhere, the upbeat ‘Icing On the Cake’ has some good Dylanesque organ. ‘Jesus In The Backyard’ mixes prog and blues and showcases all the instruments; take a listen to that or the jaunty country-tinged ‘Why Are You Talking To Me?’ Overall, it’s a strong album, and for fans of 70′s rock, a good one to buy and tell all their friends about. But don’t believe us; Uncle Billy Bragg says: “Mutter Slater has one of the greatest voices of British rock, and he writes a mean song, too.”
The Chronicle (September 2016)
The Champ is filled with fine British rock with a main influence from classic R&B of the ’60s. What hit me right from the start was Slater’s excellent lead vocals. His voice is deep and clear with excellent tone and depth of feeling. Every song is strong but if I had to pick a few favourites I would choose the heart wrenching balladic title track, the tender “I May Not Be An Angel” with its lovely organ and guitar and the catchy R&B of “Icing On The Cake” with its nice acoustic flavour.
The Champ proves the old guard can still make some great music. In this day and age when it seems substance and quality is sorely lacking in popular culture, it is refreshing to hear music full of soul and passion. Another highly recommended release courtesy of Angel Air Productions.
Sea Of Tranquility (September 2016)
With Cleaver and Hughes producing and engineering, the nine tracks on The Champ take the listener through all kinds of bluesy rock terrain and Mutter’s lyrics are key to understanding the power and the glory behind Mutter’s latest rock classics. Best listened to several times to gain the full impact, with The Champ, The Mutter Slater Band has produced a 21st century music classic.
MWE3.com (September 2016)
The music can be described as “blue-eyed soul” and the lyrics are about human strength and tenderness, love, bars, train and bus rides, long walks and cosmic disintegration. Mutter’s voice has become more mature over the years, which is evident on “Icing On The Cake”. The title track is a ballad with a sax solo. “Jesus In The Backyard” is sometimes more rocky. For lovers of mixed forms of blues with soul and R & B.
Keys and Chords (September 2016 – translated)
The man who Billy Bragg once haled as ‘one of the greatest voices of British rock’ still turns out effortlessly melodic albums from time to time, marrying his enduring love of sixties blues and soul with a lyrical sensibility which couldn’t be more quintessentially English as he unveils the freshly minted charms of ‘I May Not Be An Angel’, ‘Even Love?’ and the majestic title tune.
Kevin Bryan, Regional Newspapers (September 2016)