"A fine wistful offering guided by a longing feeling and lulling melodic line with one foot firm in Americana and one in old time rock n’ roll. A familiar warm feeling comes as with many Elvis Presley songs and some of the more mellow output by The White Stripes, though this track could easily fit in the final club scene that ended David Lynch’s recent season of ‘Twin Peaks’. Excellent, harmonious, sincere and catchy – a winning formula" – Big Takeover Magazine on The Mutineers' latest single, "Couldn't Get Over You"
"On ‘Drug For That’, The Mutineers lean towards the output of PJ Harvey with John Parish, The Stevenson Ranch Davidians, The Raconteurs and Band of Skulls. The raw live vibe here is infectious and male-female vocals sang in tandem are the icing on the cake... A great introduction to the band’s music" – Louder Than War Magazine
"With that bold folksy swagger and country-esque flair, The Mutineers give a smooth take on the new #indie with their new single titled ‘Couldn’t Get Over You’. The track combines a down-home feeling and old-school production value to what seemingly sounds like a timeless classic with a ‘modernesque’ flare while retaining that original sound that is more and more becoming The Mutineer’s hallmark. One listen of the entire ‘Threshold’ album is a testament to that." -- Jammerzine
The Mutineers are a rock duo out of Portland, OR featuring Brian Mathusek on guitar and Merry Young on drums. Their sound is a mix of rock n' roll, garage, punk, folk and classic country influenced by a long and eclectic lineage including but not limited to Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Loretta Lynn, George Jones & Tammy Wynette, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, The Pogues, X, The B-52s, Billy Bragg, Nick Cave, Patti Smith, The Pixies and The Velvet Underground.
The two set out on the road full time in 2017, completing 5 national tours in 3 years. They have opened for bands such as Murder By Death, Amigo the Devil, Tallest Man on Earth, Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band, White Buffalo, Langhorne Slim and Larry and His Flask, among others.
Brian grew up in northern New Jersey playing with mostly punk and hardcore bands. In search of greener pastures, he embarked on a road trip West in 2000 with fellow guitarist and best buddy Michael Astudillo. They landed in San Francisco, California where they met Merry, who had recently left Portland, Oregon, on her own search for sunnier skies. The three eventually settled in Santa Barbara, California, where The Mutineers were born in 2007.
The band’s name flowed naturally from the pub-rock, sing-a-long nature of their original material. Finding ample opportunity to perform in Santa Barbara’s eclectic music scene, the trio harnessed their sound and released their first two EPs, Tidal Wave (2008) and Nihilisteria (2009). “Their country/folk/Americana/punk sound — a mix of scrappy, stein-swinging anthems peppered with a few ambient, slow tracks — is grounded by the band’s constant energy, string talent, melodic harmonies, and strong rhythm section. By way of visceral folky lyrics, the Mutes offer happy music about hard times and the people living through them; these characters, like those in Springsteen’s and countless other folk songs, represent those groups oft overlooked in today’s media landscape and viral marketplace” (Santa Barbara Independent).
Shortly after the release of their second EP, Terry Luna joined the band on stand-up bass, adding a dash of rockabilly energy while contributing a fourth voice to the vocal harmonies. In 2011, Brian and Merry opened Mutiny Studios, a graphic design and screen printing business that also promoted and produced shows and music events in Santa Barbara. Their network of musical friends became wider as they hosted many touring bands making their way down the West Coast. Mutiny Studios also became their record label as they set out to record a full-length album that would reflect the energy and emotion of their live performances. From the Dirge to the Dance (2011) was the result of that effort, drawing from the rollicking spirit of The Pogues and Johnny Cash, but also showing a broader depth of songwriting and a more demanding level musicianship than their previous offerings.
In the years that followed, the band continued playing in Southern California, frequently touring up the West Coast to Portland, Oregon and establishing a close relationship with the burgeoning alt-country scene in San Luis Obispo county. After a 13-year courtship, Brian and Merry finally got married, and Santa Barbara looked to be home for the long term. In October of 2014, however, The Mutineers suffered a devastating blow with the sudden loss of founding member, best friend and guitarist Michael. "It's been difficult to pick up the pieces. It is very hard to hear some of our songs without Michael's presence, not to mention the enormous vacancy left by his larger-than-life personality and boundless optimism," said Mathusek.
After briefly dissolving the band, Brian and Merry returned to Merry's home turf in the Pacific Northwest and continued making music as a duo while re-establishing Mutiny Studios in Portland, OR. In 2016, the couple decided to re-introduce The Mutineers as a rock n' roll duo, defiantly pushing forward after their terrible loss. Live at B-Side (2016) was recorded completely live and in full-takes with no added instruments or overdubs. It featured 7 new songs and 5 previously recorded tracks in an effort to show how Mathusek’s writing was evolving and how the duo would honor their past. The heartfelt opener, “Barbara,” is a final goodbye to an earlier life that they would never be able to return to. Months after the new release, The Mutineers packed up their apartment and began what would become 3 years of touring and living on the road.
While they were not out on tour, they spent their time on a farm in Cathlamet, WA, a rural town of about 1,000 people on the Columbia River. The breathtaking landscape, the decaying remnants of old villages, and the natural rhythm of the mighty river provided the inspiration and backdrop for their next two EP releases, Threshold (2018) and No Winter (2020). Both recordings continued their collaboration with Raymond Richards who had also engineered and mixed Live at B-Side. With the help of Richards’ own performances on multiple instruments, The Mutineers released their first fully produced recordings since 2011’s Dirge. They put the two EPs together and released their first 12” vinyl record just as the Covid pandemic forced a lockdown of the country.
Mathusek’s early songwriting was an effort to rally people into a shared understanding of struggle and release. It was angst-filled but with a sense of humor. It touched on politics and inebriation equally. With their latest songs, The Mutineers focus more on characters who are flawed, stubborn and struggling with their demons. They wander confused, obsessed, addicted and envious, in search of happiness, understanding and love.
"The Mutineers capture the heart of what Americana music is, in that they sound like the sweet and sour pulse of that country’s musical heart...the perfect journey through the honest underbelly of American music. And like the music, the narratives they weave and the stories they tell come right out of the Beat writers book of grim reality, epic poems about the losers, the lost and the lonely." —Dave Franklin, Dancing About Architecture
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Also visit Mutiny Studios for design and screen printing by Brian and Merry.