Mullmuzzler first celebrated the talent of vocalist James LaBrie apart from his groundbreaking progressive main course, Dream Theater, with Keep it to Yourself (1999). This album like the first features a talented ensemble of musicians and writers (including artists who have worked with the likes of Steve Vai and Frank Zappa) joining forces for this 10-track release, Mullmuzzler 2.
Written mostly with Matt Gillory from Dali’s Dilemma and produced by LaBrie, this sophomore solo release offers a blend of progressive, hard, and classic rock with a hint of adult contemporary and jazz-fusion blended for a result that could easily make its way to the mainstream.
The first track “Afterlife” is a progressive offering clearly reminding fans of influences like Rush, while songs like “Stranger” offer a soft glimpse at Pink Floyd influenced tranquility, as well as the keyboard sound that Dream Theater fans have become accustomed to. “Venice Burning” the first of two songs that LaBrie wrote with Shadow Gallery’s Carl Cadden-James and Gary Wehrkamp for the album stands apart with a heavier edge and begins the two-part tale of child molestation that winds up with “Confronting the Devil.” Though, a likely single with be the love song “Falling.” Mullmuzzler 2 is a two-fold accomplishment, because it differentiates itself from LaBrie’s other music and because that uniqueness lets it stand apart from the countless other offerings in this genre.