Simulations, the debut LP from Dundee’s The Mirror Trap is released on 8th July. The band are Gary Moore (vox) Michael McFarlane (Guitars), Paul Markie (Guitars), Ben Doherty (Bass) and Paul Reilly (Drums). They are one of a small army of new bands emerging from the Scottish music scene, but these guys have already put some notches in their proverbial bed posts. They have supported The View and Placebo, receiving the royal seal of approval from the latter after supporting them on their Russian tour in 2014 and rightly so. While their post-hardcore style is somewhat heavier than Molko & Co, at the same time they have a darker edge that’s very much in line with their Black Market Music era.
From the outset, the LP is ferocious, sounding like the heavier end of AFI, but with more feral vocals. Overall it’s razor edged, mosh friendly and seriously infectious! A great recipe that will undoubtedly attract fans of the former and a new generation alike. The only other comparison that can be made is that Moore’s vocal is akin to Gerard Way (MCR) with some superb gravel, but where it is cleaner in the lower ranges it sets him apart. From the opening track through the first half of the album it follows in this vein, with heavy, catchy, riffs and choruses before taking a bit of a break in the form of Joyride.
Joyride is a lighter, piano driven ballad with a superb, emotive vocal performance and some great lyrics like We fucked where we fell and we called it modern romance. After this the blistering, riff driven onslaught continues with Second Life and following this lightens a little again with Muscle Memory’s punk edged staccato chords and catchy chorus I’ve been lying to myself / I’ve been lying to myself.
Next is Elixir which is even catchier than its predecessor it opens with a rocking riff that repeats itself thematically in the bridges. It’s a track I could listen to over and over!
Closing the album is Bleach Your Bones during which Moore’s vocal becomes the closest to Way’s, with a syrupy, breaking vibrato in his long notes overriding the overdriven, relentless guitar chords in the backing. Finishing with the barked lyrics We’re in this together / We’re just so much better together the album ends pretty abruptly and unceremoniously, much the same as it started but it’s unpretentious, straightforward and definitely in keeping with the rest.
Overall, I really like the album, straightforward lyrics, rocking chords drums and riffs and feral vocals makes it a spot on effort in the post-hardcore scene. I have no doubt it will do well and with the backing of such a heavyweight band word is going to get out there fast. The Mirror Trap are here and mean business and I’d recommend turning Simulations up to the max.
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