Debut EP from newcomers The Black Mirrors is a striking collection of contemporary blues rock which strongly highlights the potential bubbling in Stokes’s musical cauldren. Considering the band only formed in March of this year, anyone could be forgiven for assuming that the Rorschach Sessions EP was a mere collection of quickly thrown together songs, but that is certainly far from the truth here.
The EP- it’s name coming from front man Mark Mason’s possibly unhealthy obsession with the psychological tests- is in fact a collection of inspired tracks, with opener Fever Noir instantly grabbing any listeners attention with the riveting, grungy bass intro from Joe Peers, which is added to by Mark’s unique vocals and harrowingly eerie guitar riffs. The song reaches a cracking crescendo around three minutes in when Mark really lets loose on the microphone and sets the song up for a sweet outro, with guitarist Paul Baggaley throwing in awesome licks seemingly just for the fun of it.
The Worm features cunningly simple yet extremely effective guitar riffs and contains a melody which is so catchy you can’t help but listen to the song on repeat. The lyrics are fantastic and the riff produced by Paul is outstanding. Tom McMeekin shows he is not just in the band to keep a steady rhythm for the band to use, as he plays powerfully and forcefully on form throughout not only The Worm but on the whole EP. The Worm uses great vocals, using two vocalists to create the effect of two people deep in emotional conversation which is laid out amongst the rock and roll canvas that is The Worm.
The third track of the EP is a great sound which echoes in parts classics by The Clash, with sweet bass and drum patterns and off beat guitar play suiting Mark’s vocal and melody perfectly. The song lowers and rises in dynamics brilliantly creating an intoxicating effect. “I once saw a man, with a worm tattoo, I saw him walk for miles and miles, he’d die for me and you tonight”, just a snippet of the dark, sinister lyrics Mark is capable of producing, with the lyrics in Strange Melodies, according to Mark himself, holding within them a cryptic puzzle he wants the listener to work out for themselves.
Blood, Mark’s personal favourite from the Rorschach Sessions EP, is a full six minutes of pure brilliance. There is a rawness and a determined air which seems to surround the songs of The Black Mirrors, an air which could clear the fog which somehow prevents music from Stoke-on-Trent being recognised for the value it should on a grander scale. The Black Mirrors are truly a band all of Stoke-on-Trent should be proud of; creative, inventive, unique and yet original with songs that flow at the perfect pace from start to finish. This is a band that have the potential to restore a man’s faith in music, and if this band can produce such a high quality after just four months of being together, it’s quite scary to think of what they could possibly achieve.
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