The band does not give much of an idea what they sound like from how this EP looks. It is covered in a plain white paper holder, and the cover of the CD is nothing more than two faces that put together look like the body of a violin. To say I have no clue what Musical Underground Theatre sound like is an understatement. With “Verse One”, individuals will be able to tell what Musical Underground Theatre sound like. In fact, the band sounds a lot like Operation Cliff Clavin, Against Me!, and Latterman. While the band seems to be much more spastic and off the cuff than any of those acts previously mentioned, there is a jump from the protest type of music that was dominant during the late sixties to the pop-punk music that was so big in the last ten years.
So, “Verse One” is slightly above two minutes in its runtime but individuals will be so involved in Musical Underground Theatre’s music that the time spent will seem much longer. If Musical Underground Theatre can come up with songs that are at average the level of “Verse One”, there is little doubt in my mind that individuals that like the aforementioned bands will take the band with open arms. Even the inclusion of scratching (a la Crazy Town) in “Alto Clef” cannot damper the high spirits that lead out from “Verse One”. The funkiness and spontaneity of Musical Underground Theatre will be what brings them up the ladder of success. Even though “Verse One” sounded a certain way, the myriad of styles that were used in the construction of “Alto Clef” puts the band much more close to acts like The Aquabats or Alien Ant Farm, both bands that have achieved high amounts of success in popular music. This might just be an artifact of Musical Underground Theatre only having three songs on this EP, but there is a lack of cohesion heard during this disc.
This is a problem that will likely be worked out by the time the band goes into a studio again, but it is something that listeners should pay attention to. Still, the music present on this disc is a wonder bit of dissonant but catchy punk rock, that will have listeners singing and stomping at the same time. Give Musical Underground Theatre a try if you like anything that is off the wall or challenging in the least.
Top Track: W.M.D.
Musical Underground Theatre – To A Town Near You / 2006 Self / 3 Tracks / http://www.themutshow.com / http://www.myspace.com/themutshow / Reviewed 19 January 2007