Funky Queen by Black MirrorsRelease date: March 3, 2017
Label: Napalm Records
It has been three years since Belgium’s Black Mirrors released their debut EP, but they now return with their second EP, and their first for their new label Napalm Records. Although not quite the all-female band lead vocalist Marcelle Di Troia originally set out to form, with the current line-up of Pierre Lateur on guitar, bassist Gino Capino, and Nicolas Scalliet on drums, they may just catch the ear for fans of classic 1970’s rock and the accessible end of stoner and grunge.
In their recent Echoes and Dust interview they say they would love to do an album with a producer. But they have done a very commendable job themselves in self-producing. From out of the blocks it feels fresh and punchy, high on juice, all revved up and ready to go. ‘Funky Queen’ is a ridiculously instant catchy hard rock number that drills into your skull after a couple of listens. The QOTSA styled chord changes powered by Marcella’s strong as storm Doris’ gale wind voice, who effortlessly veers between guttural squeal to singalong ooh ooh’s, is a fine introduction to those new to the band, like this reviewer.
It is followed by a slightly misguided cover of MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jam’ and is the one false note of the four tracks. It is too polished and let’s be frank, no one can ever capture the wild fire ferocity of the original. Why would anyone want to bother? It is great the band reveals they have impeccable taste and a big desire to want to rock out, but this is one to keep for rehearsals, or an occasional live appearance.
But delighted to report they head straight back to form with the strong bluesy thrusting rock of ‘The Mess’. More singalong refrains, which doesn’t take too much to imagine it should be a stormer live. It also changes pace half way showing they have the nous and ability to maintain a groove and swagger by avoiding letting the song plod along for too long.
The most interesting and best track is saved to last as it reveals even stronger song writing and an expansive ambition declaring the band possess boldness. ‘Canard Vangaur Masqué’ has nifty guitar work and their Soundgarden and QOTSA influences are brought sharper into focus. It attacks with confidence and juxtaposes a bigger heavier sound along with the craft to allow space by using the quiet, loud formula before it floats hauntingly to the end leaving this listener wanting more.
Black Mirrors have delivered three strong self-penned songs with a diversity of styles; catchy singalong hard rock, bluesy fuelled hard rock, and a mature grungy stoner rock vibe, respectively. The constant throughout is they clearly have a strong ear for melody and the songs are all impressively well-structured. This EP also reveals the band have depth and a chemistry, so a full-blown album promises it could be something to look forward to and a band to keep an observant eye out for.