When I was a child, probably around the age of six or seven, my dad playfully snatched a baseball cap from the top of my head.
After running to the end of the garden, he turned and frisbeed the hat back in my direction. Rather than catch the swirling homing missile, I clumsily allowed the cap end to hit me square on the nose. To this day I’ve got a noticeable bump where it pinged off my face. Cheers, Dad.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that listening to The Mirrors’ latest EP, ‘What’s My Brain’s Brain?’ is a similar experience. It’s certainly not as upsetting or painful, but it’s equally uneasy.
Sarah Nadifi’s brooding, slightly ethereal vocals sound the anxiety-ridden opener with ‘White Land Wolves’, until it explodes with a sleazy, heavy rock riff. As quickly as it punches you in the face it disconcertingly retreats back to a sinister groove before returning yet again with a vengeance. To steal a phrase from Alex Turner, it sounds like the soundtrack to your favourite worst nightmare.
Naive Ground follows in a much more direct manners, Corentin Bossard’s rollicking drums crescendoing around Nadifi’s call-and-response, schizophrenic vocals. The French two-piece, who hail from Angers, are relentless in their intensity, with the similarly rifftastic title track culminating in Nadifi howling: “I wanna read my mind.”
Recorded by Olivier Fournier and with artwork by The Wytches’ Daniel Rumsey, ‘What’s My Brain’s Brain?’ sounds more like something from the desert rather than Western France.
‘Secrets Seeker’ and ‘Blood’ conclude the EP in thrillingly heavy fashion, the latter especially emphatic with a welcome change of dynamic, and suggests that The Mirrors are going to be a must-see band when they next cross the Channel to visit England.
Just don’t be surprised if they leave you with a bloodied nose.