Pass the smouldering peace pipe…
Review by Gary Cordwell
Release date: 21 April 2015
And so in this, our year of 2015, NY stoners Mirror Queen release their sophomore album, the follow up to 2011’s stompingly riff-tastic From Earth Below… although, really, you’d be fooled, from listening to this, into thinking it was ’71, or ’68, such is the bong-infused authenticity of this retro disc! Rising from the ashes of Kreisor (which in turn rose from the ashes of Aytobach Kreisor) four piece Mirror Queen generously pass this smouldering peace pipe amongst us.
It begins with the psyche, kitchen sink barrage of the title track. A far out riff drops us through a worm hole to a time when rock dinosaurs walked the Earth, a place where Blue Cheer kick off with a dynamite riff only for Hawkwind to muscle in with a lazy psychedelic midsection before the Allmans roll up with some dual harmony guitar and tasty soloing. Good stuff.
And then they really start to flex their muscles! ‘Quarantined’ has an insistent, menacing bruiser of a riff that hits even harder when it returns after a brief powerchord interlude and then manages to morph into another riff which is even sludgier and doomier! Then we downtune for the monolithic ‘Strangers In Our Own Time’. This is bluesy – Sabbath bluesy! The band play brilliantly, locking together as a fluid unit, shifting gear and snaking around the main riff, main man Kenny Kreisor wah wah soloing with considerable aplomb!
And now it’s time to buckle up for the return of the riffs, and what riffs they are – great, driving, scuzzy beasts replete with groovy breakdowns and sky-kissing solos. There are hints of NWOBHM, Maiden in particular, alongside stoner heroes Trouble and Scott Weinrich. It’s around here that we start to sluggishly realise that perhaps too much inhaling has been going on. ‘Dark Ships Arrived’ is a nice, mellow, mid paced twin guitar instrumental…or maybe they just forgot to sing! It doesn’t really go anywhere in particular but y’know, like, who cares dude?
The band really starts to disappear behind the hazy fug with the proggy, bluesy ‘Wings Wetted Down’, its kinda Doors-y and you feel like it could just go on forever man… like the cosmos, which is pretty mind-fucking when you sit and reeeeeally think about it! You get the idea – there’s been a memory black out between 1972 and today for Mirror Queen but rest assured, they’re in that dope cloud somewhere and they’ll be back and riffing when they get the munchies! Recommended.
8 out of 10
- Scaffolds Of The Sky
- Strangers In Our Own Time
- At The Borderline On The Edge Of Time
- Dark Ships Arrived
- Wings Wetted Down