Reverend And The Makers - 'Mirrors'
An ADD sonic patchwork informs the Sheffield group's best album to date
The way Jon McClure tells it, it took a realisation that no one really gave a monkey’s about [a]Reverend & The Makers[/a]’ music – particularly inside the M25 – to persuade him and bandmate Ed Cosens to do whatever the hell they liked. Packing up the tunes they’d assembled in Sheffield, the band popped over to Jamaica and (presumably with the odd herbal hindrance along the way) made the best album of their career. That’s right, the Makers aren’t done yet.
Fifth time lucky, as no one but an inveterate, deluded trier says. Still, that’s the case here. ‘Mirrors’ is as inspired as Reverend And The Makers have ever been, a 35-minute, 14-song hurtle through every idea in McClure’s outsized cranium. Some of these ideas aren’t entirely his – the jerky verses of ‘Mr Glasshalfempty’ pick up the baton The Jam’s ‘Start!’ stole from The Beatles’ ‘Taxman’; ‘Something To Remember’ swipes The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ beat before becoming a lost, string-soaked Crosby, Stills & Nash song – but tunes and tangents follow so hard on each other’s heels, no one’s keeping score.
Less of a concept album, more of a patchwork, ‘Mirrors’ runs together not so much seamlessly as breathlessly. The unusually smooth transitions from the spookily psychedelic opener ‘Amsterdam’ to the cock-rocking glam stomp of ‘Black Widow’ (“[i]She’s gonna swallow you whole[/i]!”) to the gorgeous Super Furry Animals-like love-in of ‘Makin’ Babies’ feel like they’re building to something, but it’s illusory. Soon everything’s chucked into the mix – a Phil Spector-esque Wall of Sound on the aptly titled ‘The Trip’ (“[i]We should go on a carpet ride…[/i]”); some ragged rockabilly on ‘Blue’ – as snippets of songs flash by, rarely getting beyond a second chorus.
This attention-deficit approach works. It comes off as a sunburst of colour, a psychy effervescence with no room for the dull stuff. Maybe it would’ve been nice if they’d added a minute to, say, the Kinksian romp of ‘Stuck On You’, but that wouldn’t be the point. Reverend And The Makers are doing what they want. And, this time, others might want it too.
Record label: Cooking Vinyl
Release date: 09 Oct, 2015