"Chicago trio Mutts' nimble, funky rhythm section, with Bob Buckstaff on the low notes and Chris Pagnani behind the kit, would be entertaining to watch on its own, but throw in growling, keyboard-wielding frontman Mike Maimone, and you've got a monster on your hands. Their fall 2012 album Separation Anxiety focused on Maimone working through the process of coming out, fueling a stormy blast of garage-revival blues with touches of prog and swampy metal. Scant months later, the group is touring behind a new album that represents a nearly 180-degree shift in style: Object Permanence sees them unplugging their amps and digging into their jazz and blues roots, with Buckstaff scaling back to an upright bass and Maimone focusing on grand piano and organ. Comparisons to Tom Waits are inevitable, but more than just approximating one of Waits' styles or inhabiting one of his many characters, the band members use their own skills and world-weariness to develop an original take starting from Maimone’s perspective, from the bouncing "If It's Hot It'll Sell" to the pointed New Orleans R&B number "Pray Like a Vigilante" to the smoke-wafting closer "Uncivilized." - Stephen Traseger, Nashville Scene Magazine
Kindly Provoking The Flames | Mutts lead singer Mike Maimone seems like a man who can go from resting, from sitting on the couch experiencing little to nothing, to suddenly having his brain and everything connected to it light up like the Las Vegas Strip, like all of the pull machines and marquees hitting jackpots... He goes from zero to a hundred quicker than most... He'll just throw that barroom piano over into the corner of the room and rowdily bang on it as the flames climb the walls and get into the ceiling, where they can really begin their engulfment.
Mutts music embraces the inner turmoil, the things that are striven for, the ways that we fall short, the ways we're let down, as well as the few things that spark us back onto the right track, even if those are the rare moments, the briefest of comebacks. - Sean Moeller, Daytrotter
An entirely unplugged affair, the Chicago trio’s third full-length flips the coin on last year’s amped-up companion, “Separation Anxiety,” stripping down to piano, upright bass and drums for a rowdy, rhythmically rich mix of skid row show-boating highlighting biting blues and hootchie-cootchie boogie. Fleshed-out by contributions from This Is Cinema, Hemmingbirds and Lying Deliah, “Permanence,” lurches from sloppy bullfrog bop to crooning juke-joint stomps, spewing nubile truths beneath ragged bar-room ballads while compiling street-wise asides inside scorching carny bargains. Toddling honky-tonk broncos riding grizzled social missiles over melodic boxer’s logic, Mutts’ gruff constructions creep, leap, and enliven, primed in ivory-tickling testifying dancing to rousing vagabond chronicles. Touring this spring throughout Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and Illinois, Mutts’ vibrant live shows are not to be missed. - John Noyd, Maximum Ink Magazine