The Mirror Trap – Simulations (2016)

the mirror trapThe Mirror Trap is a rock quintet from Dundee, Scotland. The Mirror Trap started around 2 years ago and in such a short amount of time are gaining quite a lot of attention; the band was even lucky enough to be invited to support Placebo on tour just last year. The band’s new album Simulations’ is due for release mid-July and I was given a sneak peak.

The album starts with ‘Under The Glass Tower’, a hard-hitting song with catchy guitar riffs and a pounding drum beat you can’t help but tap or bob along with. The chorus is a great opportunity for fans to sing along with easy to pick up lyrics and a good melody. The first track is upbeat and really sets you up for the rest of the album to come. It is quite a quick one though; in at only 2 and a half minutes or so, so make the most of it while you can.

‘New Trance’ takes on a slightly more chilled vibe, still heavy hitting drums and this time round a dirty bass line. The vocals, however, are a bit more laid back and less in your face. I can see why Placebo picked up on this band; this song doesn’t mimic them but certainly has that edgy alt-rock feeling. As I continue to listen, I’m starting to notice that this band is good at building big choruses and really selling them.

Further through the album, the band has a softer number. ‘Joyride’ has less of the edgy vibe and is a little more radio-friendly indie. I feel like the vocalist has to really fight his accent in this one, and so the vocal isn’t always consistent sounding. However the song overall is very nice, well put together and really relaxed. It’s almost ballad-like, but not in a cheesy 80’s hair band kind of way.

Towards the end of the album, it sounds more like the indie/alt music I know. I do think some of the energy has died off by this point; the last few tracks are definitely tamer. The final track to this album ‘Bleach Your Bones’, however, does seem to bring back a small amount of exuberance. The chorus is once again very sing-able. This ability to write catchy hooks and melodies could work really well in this band’s favour. The end of this track is where it all happens though. It builds up and the instrumentation and vocal layering work really well, until the very last 10 seconds! Unnecessary, creepy The Joker-esque vocals just spoil this song for me.

I think, mostly, the album works really well as a whole, which for a relatively new band is quite impressive. They have a cohesive sound and there aren’t too many parts that throw you for a loop (except the last 10 seconds). The instrumentation is well balanced, the vocal, most of the time really suits the style, the lyrics are catchy, and production level wise I can’t fault it really. It’s a solid effort. Overall, despite this not really being my genre of choice, I wouldn’t turn it off.

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