(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Lead Journalist/Writer, RiffRelevant.com)
Of course you can call me a bit biased when a Kentucky-based band and their music falls into my lap. It’s not a big secret that The Bluegrass State is my old Kentucky home and that I’ve lived here on and off in various periods of my life.
I especially like to support KY-based bands, but if you know me, then you know I don’t ‘throw bones’, so to speak. I have to actually like something or find some merit in some aspect, to do what I do here. Alas, enough about me, let’s get down to business, shall we?
The business at hand here today is the Pikevillian quartet Mirrored Image and their recently released full-length, “The Pursuit Of Happiness“. To be honest, the foursome of Dylan Belcher (guitar/vocals), Mark Chaney (guitar/vocals), Elijah Purvis (bass) and Evan Compton (percussion) play music on the lighter side of what I mostly listen to. With that said, I’m always open minded about music and have been known to dabble in a bit of everything at some time or another.
There are quite a bit of astounding elements that comprise the Mirrored Image story, their words and music if you will. Having just formed a little over a year ago (in 2016) and putting out an album this good is impressive.
The band plays a very emotionally reinforced meshing of alternative, folk, emo, college/melodic rock with touches of shoegaze and pop. It is light and airy at times, fluidly cohesive and full of atmospheric nuances… all crafted with obvious zeal and talent.
Here, we have the bouncier, happy-go-lucky vibes of tracks like “The Mask“, “Too Much” or “Sensation“. Each has a catchy infectiousness about it, but I personally like when the Mirrored Image‘rs fully explore the mood, via whatever the mode of conveyance.
Stop scratching your head, here’s what I mean: when the vibes are light, then I thoroughly enjoy what these guys DO with that lighter side, as songs such as “Again“, “Chasing After You” and the beautiful, powerfully juxtaposed “One Thing” are poignant and touching.
On the flip side, when these rural ruffians decide it is time to ratchet things up a bit, they do so with convincing gusto. It’s these times, these tracks actually, that I found myself really getting into. These cuts seem somewhat enhanced with slightly psychedelic tints to them, especially on the title song “The Pursuit Of Happiness“ and the LP-ending stand out, “Room 22“.
The latter is a full-on delving into heady psychedelia and trippy, effect-laden sonics… hazy, but subtly headstrong. Then there is what’s probably my current favorite cut, the one-word-says-it-all “Go“. A ballsy rocker with fuzzy guitars, tight-knit rhythms and plenty of angsty gusto.
In fact, Mirrored Image walk a damned fine line in their music, they know when to chunk it up just enough, and it works. On the other hand, they know when to let the mellower elements carry things and hey, that works, too.
So, find out for yourself where you fall on this scale of light to lighter or fullest lightest by checking out “The Pursuit Of Happiness” below. It is streaming via the Bandcamp embed below and available for purchase here as well.