Friday, 27 January 2012
Mirrors - This Year, Next Year, Sometime...?
EP review by KevW
This article also appears on http://www.soundsxp.com
Despite a clutch of decent reviews, last year's debut album 'Lights & Offerings' was largely overlooked, but those of us who took notice found a set of top-grade 80s inspired electro-pop. Since then the stability in camp Mirrors has seemed questionable (although I stress that no problems have been reported by the band themselves). Festival appearances and and dates supporting their spiritual forefathers OMD were cancelled, apparently as they were too busy working on new material. It would certainly seem an odd move to call off such fantastic promotional opportunities. A few weeks later it was announced that founder member Ally Young had left the group. From the outside at least, it was starting to look worrying.
On a more positive note, two new tracks appeared late last year with the remaining three members stating that they were studio bound to begin work on a follow-up. Releasing an intermediary EP titled 'This Year, Next Year, Sometime...?' to very little fanfare and publicity isn't exactly the best indicator of a definite future for the trio, but that's how this digital collection consisting of two finished new tracks and a handful of home demos has been given to us. Hopefully it's a message to fans that Mirrors are still very much in business.
Neither of the two finished songs are single material; 'Dust' and 'Shooting Stars' are competent enough but pale in comparison to previous efforts, giving the impression that the good ship Mirrors has been left on autopilot. They don't last long in the memory. The five demo tracks could be a better indicator of things to come, but lacking the extra studio tweaking they're a very mixed bag. 'Blood Diamond' is reasonable enough, but 'Pick Me Up' is nothing more than a Human League b-side. The final three tracks are the proof that the new line-up are finding their feet and there's hope here.
'Nothing Lost' is Depeche Mode colliding with Kraftwerk (i.e. business as usual) before it gives way to the 80s dance floor filler 'Leave Me Here'. It's not a great track yet but has the potential to develop into one. Atmospheric closer 'Dead Air' is similar to the fantasy electro-pop favoured by The Sound Of Arrows and is a suitable way to wrap things up. This is far from an essential EP, which is most likely the reason it's been unveiled in the quiet way it has. It's more the sound of Mirrors mark 2 reminding the fans that they're still very much alive. All in all it has the approach, feel and sound of nothing more than a stopgap, and that's almost certainly what it is.
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