Faceless Mirror deliver a blues/country/classic rock album with Journey Home that certainly tickles our fancy.
Release Date: 19th February 2020
Label: Gyrostream Distribution
Formats: CD / DL
Has anybody sent a copy of this to Bob Harris or Steve Lamacq because this album, from the band that emerged from the Aussie country band The Kelly Gang, deserves airplay. Every track is an absolute cracker.
Yes, the opening notes are pure Gilmour sound-a-like and the harmonica and vocals on Scarlet Water show a Neil Young influence but now under a new name, Faceless Mirror are a band who deserve merit on the musical delights they created themselves.
Journey Home sets off the travelling concept of this journey. Every journey begins with the first step through life’s trials, tribulations and positive experiences to make your way back home.
Some songs have an anthemic quality; words of poetical wisdom, crystal clear observations of life all presented with superbly crafted musicianship. So sad that these tunes have been buried since the mid 1990’s but so good that Dave Cavanagh inspired the rest of the band to resurrect them in 2017. The passing of original bassist Jonathan Harris sparked the decision to studio record songs from their initial recordings of live performances.
One listen to this album and you will be bowled over quicker than a Thomson/Lillee seam attack, hit for six further than a Steve Smith onslaught. Crashing catchy riffs, sublime solos are thrashed asunder from these men from down under. Wailing, powerful vocals but never ear- piercing.
Each song has its own identity, no tried and tested formula. Different guitar effects and vocal style not only show these guys are willing to experiment with different textures, moods, dynamics and tempo but show a versatility that many groups seek for years to achieve.
It has been said that if Floyd, Skynyrd met Neil Young then you would end up with Faceless Mirror. If anyone could survive that experience you probably just end up with a hell of a racket and not the fabulous sonic experience of listening to this album on which they deserve credit for what they create in their own right.
This is an album you should explore yourself and take a chance on. In fact it’s not a chance.. if country rock is your thing or any rock style I guarantee you will be immersed in a stunning hour of musical joy.
Original band member Dean Macaw has written: “We wanted all the songs to be not just good songs, but great songs. Songs that stick in your head, the kind you wake up and find yourself humming or singing.”
With the addition of some new members: drummer John ‘Derek’ Armistead, Tony Rendell on keyboards and Hammond organ and Mark Cooper-White on bass guitar without doubt you achieved this for me.
I’ll be playing this in the car, during my one Covid driven ‘permitted’ outdoor daily exercise, in bed, on my turbo bike. ‘If Paradise is half as nice’ – a lyric almost replicating Amen Corner’s 60’s hit – appears on the track aptly named Paradise that strangely begin with some demonic, hellish effects but ultimately develops into a glorious stomping riff driven cracker of a tune .
Bring It Back Home is perhaps the nearest to country with a searing guitar solo, harmonic backing vocals but as we nearly reach the end of the journey the plaintive choral calls to bring all your sour experiences back to safe harbour of home. Finally, a totally stripped down acoustic guitar and harmonica backed song Crazy Little Dream.
So, if anybody with influence in the national rock or country media is reading give these boys a bigger profile.
Listen to the title track here:
Faceless Mirror online: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp
What an awesome review, you have captured the essence of what the producer Dean Macaw was aiming for. Well done