"SLOW MOTION RIOT"
Hermosa Beach, CA has to be regarded as one of the crucial epicenters in the history of the California hardcore scene. BlackFlag, the_Circle_Jerks, Descendents and Pennywise all sprang from this tiny coastal suburb of Los Angeles. 98 MUTE represents a very bright next generation in the impressive pedigree of South Bay Bands. Growing up listening to these seminal punk bands, 98 MUTE members Pat Ivie (vocals), Jason Page (guitar), Doug Weems (bass) and Justin Thirsk (drums) gravitated to punk rock via osmosis. “We grew up with this music all of our lives,” says drummer Justin Thirsk. “We’re really proud of that heritage and it’s amazing to think of our band in relation to all that.”
After the bands formation, 98 Mute wasted little time in recording and released their first self-titled album on South Bay based Theologian Records. It didn’t take long for the band to get noticed and appreciation from their peers earning themselves the opening slot on the 97’ and 98’ Vans Warped Tour in addition to opening up for Blink182, Pennywise, 7Seconds, H20 and GBH. In 1998 the band recorded their debut follow-up Class Of 98, at the now infamous Stall 2 studio in Redondo Beach. Class Of 98, helped to drive home the point that 98 Mute was a hardcore band worthy of their illustrious pedigree. With the help of an appearance on the soundtrack to the Taylor Steele surf film The Show, the Mute began to move their reputation as one of punk rocks most fearsome hardcore band to an ever-widening audience. It was at this point that the band inked a deal with Epitaph records and began work on their next release Slow Motion Riot. .
For the recording of their first release on Epitaph, 98 Mute once again enlisted the help of longtime friend and Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge to produce the album. The 15 tracks, which comprise the album, once again reflect the heart on their sleeve attitude and self-examining honesty that has made their albums the soundtrack for the lives of their fans. “It’s important to have something to say,” says guitarist Jason Paige. “The whole point is to write a song that goes beyond the usual rock n’ roll clichés. For us, it’s essential to write about subjects that make us think and convey a message that will hopefully give someone who listens to the album something to think about as well.” The issues on the table are perhaps best represented in the albums title track, ‘Slow Motion Riot’, which urges a pause to the frantic rate in which society lerches forward towards its promised brighter future thru technology, a theme which is repeated in ‘Simpler Days’ as well. Sonically, the band once again shows their penchant for the charging upbeat melodies that they established on their first two albums while incorporating a greater sense of dynamics and ability in the studio.
As 98 Mute continues to chronicle the trials and pitfalls of life in a distinctly Southern California setting they begin to earn their place amongst a pantheon of great bands.