The band in question, are MIRROR POINT, who hail from Sanford and Cedar Creek, NC and consist of members Marc Killian, Travis Jones and Sketchy J. They recently got in touch with me asking me to check out their debut album “Shine On” which was released earlier this year through Mokovo Records. With an apparent variety of stylistic influences, let’s see if Mirror Point can mirror The Nature Boy, and be the limousine-ridin’, jet-flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin-dealin’ sons of guns I personally hope they are.
The mini-album opens up with “Winner Takes All” and we’re immediately met with some back-to-basics riffs and the typically clean yet, slightly bourbon coated vocals that make up your classic blues rock songbooks. It plods along really quite casually, quite middle of the road really before eventually picking up in intensity, exuding a more passionate instrumental display towards the tracks climax. It takes a minute or two to warm up but it gets there in the end. Not deserving of any winners medals, but it doesn’t come last either…it’s just taking part really. Next up we have a track called “PhenoBarbieDoll” and it’s one of their local radio successes. Another melodic, hard rocking blues-based number, it’s aimed at the trappings and troubles caused by social media; the anxiety it can give you trying to keep up appearances, the expectations of maintaining your plastic lifestyle, the fear of failure and the longing for fame. It’s quite a socially relevant track that has its points, but let’s not beat around the bush here the title is terrible. “PhenoBarbieDoll” sounds like a rip off, of a SyFy rip-off, of a straight to DVD Asylum rip-off of a low-budget “Annabelle” rip-off. We actually ran out of barrel to scrape…
Looking further into some of their outside influences however, we get to another local radio success by the name of “Is This Was This”…I mean, if this WAS is and is was it wasn’t isn’t it? I thought so. A Latin/Hispanic fuelled little love song with clear yet subtle funk elements, and a certain Mediterranean flare, but plays on regrets, second guesses, absence an emotional confusion, touching upon PTSD, yet delivered in a predominantly light hearted manner. “Just Push Play” continues with the genre experimentation courtesy of a genuinely interesting combination of soulful 70’s funk, lounge jazz and modern hip-hop with a completely out of the blue rap-breakdown. The contrast manages to work without sounding jarring or like the world’s worst Nu Metal band, and that competition is TIGHT, so credit to them there.
The remainder of the record primarily consists of more, textbook blues-based hard rock which does have its moments of instrumental appeal, but sadly does become pretty generic over the course of the album, that IS only seven tracks long remember. Sure they dabbled in a few genres to spice things up but on a scale of black pepper to Bhut jolokia, that spice is toothpaste. Collectively, “Shine On” is harmless enough and you can appreciate it’s basic blues rock appeal, I mean they’re on the radio back home so they’re climbing that ladder, and there is an audience for blues based hard rock, I mean look at BLACK STONE CHERRY…it’s do-able, just on this instance, “Shine On” isn’t even as bright as one of Ric Flair’s bejewelled robes, let alone the 16-time world champion himself. To be the man, you gotta beat the man…Mirror Point have not beaten the man. Mirror Point are more like David Flair than Ric at this point.