Smokey Mirror by Smokey MirrorRelease date: May 25, 2023
Label: Rise Above Records
Oh yeah! Hot, smokey, and filled to the bone with heavy psychedelic power from the Dallas / Fort Worth area that’ll make your bluesy stomach hungry for more massive amounts of acid to take 24/7, Smokey Mirror are the band to get you going!
Launched in 2015, Smokey Mirror have all of the recipes they need to burst through the fence with enough ammunition. Led by Mario Rodriguez, their self-titled debut is like a big punch in the gut that is needed as they hurl through the cosmos with sublight speed on ‘Invisible Hand’ and ‘Pathless Forest’.
Listening in to the first two tracks, it’ll make you go back and revisit the unearthed bands such as Leaf Hound, Luv Machine, Budgie, and ‘60s garage rock heroes The Electric Prunes as if they turned into a hard rock band which is evidential on the hallucinogenic ‘Magick Circle’.
The guitar technique between Mario and Caleb Hollowed have as Conan the Barbarian describes, “Mountain of Power” the duo has in their heart and soul as if they were Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield for one more boxing match with gory ear-biting momentum!
The chase sequence in the final section becomes a stop-and-go routine which speaks of early Yes and Crimson into a giant blender. And we ain’t talking about soft, soppy lovely ballads, we’re talking about a real fucking jam here folks!
Cam’s playing closes the track paying homage to Neil Peart, Buddy Rich, Carl Palmer, Bill Bruford, and Keith Moon in a crazy jazz segment before closing towards the finish line. Speaking of Peart, ‘Alpha-State Dissociative Trance’ resembles Rush’s Moving Pictures continuing where ‘YYZ’ had left off and adding that Belew-sque lyrical structure to the core!
With the first four tracks in the can, it’s time for some down-home country Texas blues outside the area as they jam in a 12-bar groove by serving a ‘Fried Vanilla Spider Trapeze’. The second side sees Smokey Mirror returning back into their star craft with Tyler Davis setting the controls into a heat-exchanging groove before Mario transforms himself into a blood-thirsty cannibalistic beast, and eating a massive shitload of human flesh like there’s no tomorrow on ‘Sacrificial Altar!’
And boy do these guys play fast! When they play fast, they play fast! Then they decide to switch gears and go into an alternate score of the Italian ‘60s spy / sci-fi spoofs in Europe. ‘A Thousand Days’ goes for the swinging metallic modal jazz approach of The Groundhogs whilst going into a whirlwind of Motorpsycho’s Heavy Metal Fruit on ‘Who’s To Say’.
Closing Smokey Mirror’s BBQ restaurant is the mournful flamenco eulogy ‘Recurring Nightmare’ where they begin to take a nice, long nap with a dramatic Pete Townshend-sque strummer. Finally, the new blood has come swirling into the Lone Star state, playing hard rock, psychedelic doom, proto-prog, and spaced-out adventures to get you up and running.
Smokey Mirror have all of the goods they need. They’re like wolverines who are high on angel dust! So if you want some real action, then it’s time to turn this mo-fo up to 11 and play their debut at maximum volume!