Rock 'n roll is not religion: devotion alone is not enough. But fuse fearsome dedication to the craft with six diversely talented souls, a mind-boggling work-ethic and a positive mission, and you're facing an unstoppable force. Welcome to Mutant Radio, an LA via Detroit rock-rap hybrid, whose tasty tunes, stylistic diversity and frenetic live show are paying dividends with a hard-to-ignore street buzz.
Originally formed as a backing band for a rap duo featuring now-frontman Cleaven R. Creech, Mutant Radio crystallized into its current format after re-locating to Los Angeles in mid-2003.
"We're inspired by bands that always try to push it forward," explains the engaging Creech. "The Chili Peppers, No Doubt, Sublime ... what Linkin Park's doin'. But, personally, it goes back to Run DMC's  King Of Rock album - basically takin' the rap, the metal, with that vibe right there."
Creech, who started rhyming at age ten, remains deeply influenced by the sound and message of old school rap: "Chuck D, Run, Big Daddy Kane, even Young MC - rappers who've got an awareness about themselves, socially correct ... who care more about the world as humanity. But I wanted to stop just rapping and get into a band, because it's a whole other feeling that you get with other musicians in the live situation - the energy, the camaraderie."
Creech channels an authentic, organic cocktail of black and white culture, urban groove and rock rawness. "My mother being white and my father being black. Living in an all black neighborhood, with a single white mom raising me to be strong, but at the same time always preaching positivity and giving me a good spiritual sense - being able to see people for who they are: no color, just the good in everybody."
Although they only started gigging as Mutant Radio in late 2004, public demand soon dictated that the band throw down their debut album, and so it was that Cash N Burn came together in record time. The band - who share a house and rehearse in its garage - fine-tuned their set for a week, tracked the entire album in two days with Grammy winning engineer Rafa Sardina, and then had producer Matt Forger (Michael Jackson) mix the disc in six. From conception to finished product, Cash N Burn took just 28 days.
The result is a multi-faceted record which fuses uplifting, socially-conscious lyrics with raucous rock dynamics, all kept captivating with cultured twin-guitar interplay, bustling turntables, and a muscular, in-the-pocket rhythm section.
Standout tracks include "Three Feet From Gold", inspired by the tale of a gold prospector who gives-up after years of digging, only for the next miner to hit gold just three feet away. This parable about persistence resonated with Mutant Radio's members during their early, tough weeks in LA "You get that drive, that persistence," says Creech. "And the only thing that can stop you from getting something in life is death!"
"Ghetto Rock" encapsulates Mutant Radio's collision of styles, with Creech celebrating his cross-cultural heritage. "Black boy in me, White boy in me," sings Creech. "Mixing it together - that's exactly what the music does."
"In The Air" pays homage to the values of old-school hip-hop. "I make a reference to the first tapes I ever purchased: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back and Big Daddy Kane's Long Live The Kane, back in '89. Now it's more commercialized ... people are not going through the struggle, not knowing it culturally, not knowing where it comes from."
However eclectic Mutant Radio get, the heart of their songs remains constant: "It always flows around the structure of the words and what the message is," Creech stresses. "We're about awareness: knowledge is power - for lack of knowledge people perish."
Live, Mutant Radio is all about energy. "Even though there are hip-hop tones and whatever, it really is more rock." And, in front of Mutant Radio, Creech fully realizes his unique inner star, a born performer who simultaneously evokes Chuck D and Cat Stevens, Big Daddy Kane and Billy Joel.
With an arresting debut album on the streets and a snowballing live rep, Mutant Radio is set to reap the rewards of their skills and sacrifice. "I guarantee that if you come at us with an open mind you'll walk away knowing that we put 110% out there, and that it's genuine," Creech promises. D'you feel it coming?
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