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Reverend and The Makers - Mirrors (Review)

Reverend & The Makers, Mirrors

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

THE fifth studio album from Reverend and The Makers has already been described by Noel Gallagher as “like nothing I’ve heard since the great concept albums of the 60’s”, while Carl Barat has hailed it as “a magnum opus”.

It’s fair comment. A livewire collection of songs that span genres, decades and continents, this is a feel-good blast from start to finish that delivers the goods in spades.

A rich collection of songs, Mirrors taps into ’60s guitar pop, David Holmes-inspired cinematic pop, surreal flights of fancy that trip into psychedelic territory, indie-rock and even Cuban guitar music. It consistently delights and surprises.

Recorded at 2 Fly Studios Sheffield and Geejam Studios in Jamaica, the album was produced by Dave Sanderson with additional production by Youth and Alan Smyth and mixed by Youth. And it’s perhaps this mix of elements that prevents it from ever really standing still.

Hence, the album flits from the edgy, swagger-laden pop of former single Mr Glasshalfempty to the horn laden fanfare of a song like The Gun, which occasionally sounds like it’s leading a parade.

At its absolute best, however, this bounces from the barnstorming guitar pop of the Spector-like The Trip (complete with a-whoo harmonies) to the Cuban/Mariachi pomp of El Cabrera (which is equally as fun), to the helter-skelter, tambourine-laced jangly ’60s guitar sound of Blue, right through to the strings backed majesty of the laidback, even psychedelic dream pop of Something To Remember. It’s a dazzling foursome that’s indicative of the album’s playfulness, versatility and brilliance.

Further brilliance is to be found on the muscular forthcoming single Black Widow, which opens amid some catchy harmonies and bongo beats before laying down the album’s grittiest guitar hook. It feels dirty, edgy and utterly thrilling.

And it heads from that to the playful (even frisky) Makin’ Babies, which even bears comparison to the likes of Super Furry Animals.

Further highlights come from the gutsy My Mirror, which drops in a welcome female central vocal and another solid combination of pulsating drums and guitars; the gentle, acoustic strum of the bittersweet Last To Know, and the epic album closer Lay Me Down, which boasts one of the most striking guitar intros on the LP (and which proceeds to continue to dazzle instrumentally with a moody gem).

Quite simply put, Mirrors might just qualify as Reverend and The Makers’ tour-de-force.

Download picks: Black Widow, Makin’ Babies, The Trip, Blue, Something To Remember, My Mirror, Lay Me Down

Track listing:

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Black Widow
  3. Makin’ Babies
  4. Stuck On You
  5. The Beach And The Sea
  6. The Trip
  7. El Cabrera
  8. Blue
  9. Something To Remember
  10. Mr Glassalfempty
  11. The Gun
  12. My Mirror
  13. Last To Know
  14. Lay Me Down