2 Oct 2023

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Mirrored Walls - EP Review: if i didn't have you here

06 Oct 2022 // A review by Nicholas Clark
Mirrored Walls' first EP, if i didn’t have you here features a wide range of sounds and genre influences, but somehow it all makes sense. On the cover, a couple walks away from us in a faded blue image, but one figure is distorted perhaps through how they are remembered by the other. The EP is about loss, life and love. It’s heavy, both in its subject matter and its sonic exploration. Put your seatbelt on...

This release is very well produced, covering elements of shiny pop, acoustic ballads, heavy metal and hardcore screaming – which essentially makes an emo band(!). This label might put people off, but they would be missing out on a deeply emotional and sophisticated collection of tunes.

The EP begins with eyelids, featuring soft dual vocals and delicate instrumentation. The focus in the song, (and the rest of the tracks except one), are firmly established with the deeply personal lyrics: “I hope you’re doing well, and I wish you all the best, because after all you took the best of me, and I just hope you’re happy with the choice you made, to walk away that night to sleep with him instead of me.”

After the shimmery guitars, the song picks up and gets heavy, but there is 'feel good' element to the chords that are at odds with the topic. Most likely this is deliberate.

The song sounds positively anthemic by the end, and then features a really interesting turn with a chord change around that is surprisingly massive sounding. This little trick demonstrates what the band is capable of. Impressive stuff.

Second track collapse uses dual guitar harmonies with generous delay. The song is a little heavier right from the beginning but leans towards pop in the song structure and the mixing. The vocals remind me of American emo band The Used. There are also quite intense brutal screams buried deep inside the mix, just as there are heavy guitars below the shimmery ones. The song has a satisfying layering containing the rage, or at least covering it with pretty surface. Although the song is built different than the first, the vibe is similar – confessional, nostalgic and seeking resolve.

lately uses delay and reverb to showcase some beautiful guitar playing, before female vocals introduces us to the song. There are some clever chord changes, and the song is similar to some of the more interesting songs by American band Paramore. Again, the heaviness is kept just below the threshold so clean guitars remain at the forefront. Supporting all of this are competent drumming and bass that are so well played they essentially support the dual vocals and dual guitars to be enjoyed fully.

With monster as the next song title, I was anticipating a heavy song, but instead a finger-style acoustic guitar introduces us to a ballad. Now that I know the band is so varied in their influences, anything could follow. The song grows in intensity, not only with drum playing, but also with reverb drenched vocals. When the heaviness hits it is more about emotional impact than intensity of the instruments.

Some of the vocals give the audience an idea about who the monster is: “You’re blinded by the lies you’ve told, but look through my eyes ... am I wrong for hating you? ... you’re the monster that broke my hope”.

There’s a nice little synth stab at a break that sounds really good. It would be interesting to see if they could make it happen live.

it’ll be okay has some of the EP’s most engaging guitar fireworks once the song gets going. The confessional lyrics cover the already established themes of time passing, love lost, families, youth. ‘We were going to raise a family, who knows how things could be, if we’d met earlier, without dramatic history...

Finally, viertame otro tiro ( or 'pour another shot') breaks the tension of the other songs and begins with some impressive classical style guitar, but played on electric, then a funky rhythm propels us into a flamenco inspired shindig of a song. Then a bass march takes the listener into a different section, their most wild sounding yet. There is a positively Slavic folk feel almost like a System of a Down tune, and the song ends with a police siren for good measure. Phew!

It's really hard to fault the band in any way if you like emotionally charged music. Even for those who might shy away from a band described as ‘post-pop-punk’ there is much to be impressed by here. The songs are sophisticated, personal, played with passion and cover interesting topics and complicated emotions. Just as the personal element seems a bit much, the last song saves the band from getting too serious and plays something fun. The band is capable of a huge range of sonic textures but the level of intensity remains high throughout. Everything is carefully considered.

A perfect collection of songs for those who want music to move them; it’s definitely not a ‘play in the background’ release. I can’t wait to see this band live!

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

About Mirrored Walls

Mirrored Walls are a Post-Pop-Punk band from Hawke's Bay. Encapsulating Pop-Punk themes and heavier elements inspired by Post-Hardcore artists, their songwriting far exceeds their current influence.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Mirrored Walls


if i didn't have you here
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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