Reverend and The Makers are back and boy, are they back. Mirrors is an eclectic mix of all that is great about modern music in the era of mixed genres, and does nothing to cure my Golden Age Syndrome.
Their sweat equity in making this album is everywhere to be heard, and as a listener you can almost see the countless studio hours that would have gone in to making it.
Mirrors is a true reflection of this Sheffield band. Lyrical elasticity in tracks like “Stuck on You”, “El Cabrera” and “Mr Glassalfempty” prove that on this project they have not missed a drop in draining that musical pint in one. Lyrical range has always been their trademark throughout their discography, and the trend remains here. It is why you listen to Reverend and The Makers. It is an English lesson mixed with rhyme, mixed with punk, a trip to the pictures for music, befitting the closing credits and a certain je ne sais quois, that you simply cannot put your finger on.
Reverend and the Makers’ enduring appeal is that they are not that well known, but those who know them know, you know? They make music for themselves and if it sells, then so be it, but they are not in this for the money. That is the vibe that comes through this album in spadefuls of musical molasses. There is not a single genre in this eighteen track deluxe edition that is not represented.
There are orchestras, guitar riffs that will blow your mind, choirs that will want you to meet your maker (pun intended) and an “Overproof Dub” version of the title track that will remind you of the Chilled Euphoria CDs of the late 1990s and early 2000s.
As a listener, you could imagine being in the studio with them, hearing the conversation in Northern Tetley’s Bitter tones and the cigarette smoke in the air; “You know what, lads? We’re going to make an album where we show the world what we are truly made of, bare-knuckle stuff, no filler, no vanilla, just pure music that’s killer”.
It does not do this album a disservice to say that it leaves you wondering if there are B-Sides that did not make the cut which could fill two or three more albums, such is the ballsyness and level of experimentation that hits the eardrums. If you put the album on shuffle on your fruit-based music device, it is like listening to the album for the first time every time, the range on this album is staggering. There are your one-minute intros in “Amsterdam” and “Makin’ Babies”, and “Black Widow” reeks of the Happy Mondays in their halcyon Hacienda days, Bez’s maracas and all, a tip of the cap to Madchester. There are guitar solos like AC/DC and moments where you think, “Are the Sixties back?” Beach and the Sea in particular. This what I call MUSIC; forget your “Now 999” mass-produced rubbish.
Reverend and the Makers have truly gone to the bottom of the barrel time after time, squeezed the toothpaste tube and licked the mixing bowl all in one to get the most out of this. Mirrors stands out as one of THE albums of the year. What’s more, they’re British and have not come through your reality TV ‘one size fits all’ factory mould. Move over One Direction, this is All Directions All At Once and Reverend and The Makers could not give a flying proverbial.
This is musical hard graft, Yorkshire style.
Do not download it, actually go out and pay cash to acquire the physical disc, because this album is as close to buying an old LP as it could possibly get. It would be fitting if my copy were an old 12” two-sided LP, it is that much of a throwback.
Mirrors, have a long hard look at yourself in one if you do not get out there and buy yourself a DELUXE copy.