Mirrors is radically different: A major change from the peppy dance-rock of Reverend and the Makers’ previous two albums, and a reference to their earlier indie-rock work. It’s a pastiche of different musical styles, moving at breakneck speed as songs clashing songs flow seamlessly into each other. It’s unlike anything you’ve heard this year.
From the trippy Beatles-style intro that is Amsterdam, the mood turns to gritty rock with attention-stealing rumbling guitars and distant distorted vocals on Black Widow, before Makin’ Babies diverts the album to bouncy psychedelic pop. Beyond these first three tracks, songs move from acoustic on The Beach and the Sea to 50s-tinged power pop on The Trip and a minute long number straight out of a spaghetti western stand-off on El Cabrera.
The album tends to move almost too quickly through styles, all of which work but are short-lived, akin to the feeling of constantly switching radio stations halfway through songs; something the short, seamless feel of the album conveys as well. The second half gains a more coherent feel, kicking off with the non-stop high energy indie rock of Blue, which opens the “indie phase” on a high note.
Its most surprisingly epic moment comes with My Mirror, featuring Laura McClure on vocals rather than Jon McClure. The track is drowning in the twang of guitars and the accompaniment of stabbing violins, two almost contradictory elements that work to make the song into something truly special, before reaching its crescendo and ending on a minute-long drone of sound and snippets of Morse code. Its instant follow-up Last To Know is the album’s other top moment, mixing gentle rhythmic acoustic guitar with gliding violins, making for the album’s most sincere-sounding, yet most lyrically biting track.
There’s a lot to take in on Mirrors, and it admittedly starts out on a confusing note. Once you get used to the breakneck pace that the album’s mood changes, you start to realise just how strong it is as a package. Despite its fourteen track length, it lasts for just over a half hour; this fleeting nature is almost as disappointing as the fleeting nature of a few of the album’s songs—namely the meaty first half of My Mirror and the entirety of The Trip—but is also why it all works together so well. This is definitely one of 2015’s most unexpected accomplishments.