Amongst its other mercurial qualities, music has the ability to let the mind wander in a half time travel, half nostalgically reflective sort of way. The King In Mirrors have always had the ability to do that to me, a musical reference that takes me back to my post-punk, mid eighties salad days. The eighties are much maligned for being an era of Day-Glo fashion statements and cheesy lightweight pop throwaways, but that is just wilful misremembering on the part of people who were probably not very musically aware in the first place. My eighties was one were punk had kicked down the barricades and the next wave, one of experimentation, boundary pushing and creativity was something I revelled in. It was one of jangling guitars, credible, underground pop movements and impassioned, earnest music and darker undercurrents. In fact a lot of my eighties sounded a lot like this record.
Rich May has already proved himself a dab hand at the more commercial post-punk vibe, the Little Voices e.p. and particularly single Rolling In The Sun adequately showed cased his skills in that department. And whilst the songs that kick the album off, the titular Talk About Today and Superheroes show that he hasn’t lost his touch in that area, it is the tail end of the album which shows how and along what lines his song writing is developing.
The Deepest Blue has a darker thread running through it, not quite what you’d call gothic but maybe exposure to all of those Cure albums is starting to enter via some sort of acoustic osmosis and the downward dynamic of the chorus is a great trick. This slightly sombre mood oozes across into Hallsands, which mixes rough, buzz saw guitar with atmospheric guitar lines and a pulsing and threatening backbeat. In a Starlit Sky is this collections swansong, a reflective, graceful and gentle ballad filled with big questions that go unanswered.
Whether, like me, you are looking for a taste of your youth or merely looking for a band not afraid to tread their own path and ignore fad and fashion then look no further than The King In Mirrors, they may not be the most active of bands but when they do release a new batch of songs the wait is well rewarded.