Strangers On The Throne – Mirror Trap LP review


The Mirror Trap release their second LP ‘Stay Young’ on Monday. Since catching an excellent live performance from the band last April, this is a record I’ve been looking forward to.

The omens were good. In addition to that Beat Generator Live show, they’ve released two terrific singles since. And it’s one of those singles, ‘American Dreams’, that opens the record.

‘American Dreams’ is a fierce declaration of intent and their most perfect moment to date. Brilliantly focussed at under 3 minutes long, it’s the sort of adrenalin packed tune that the Foo Fighters would kill for and sets the scene for the rest of‘Stay Young’ perfectly.

But the rest of the record doesn’t attempt to mimic ‘American Dreams’. ‘Killing Time’ is probably the most anthemic tune on the album and the other obvious single on the album. But a fair chunk of the rest of the record is fairly immediate – from the glam swagger of ‘Pigeon Chest’ through ‘Toys’, which manages to take something from the Skids, to the more edgy ‘Westminster Ghost Story’.

There’s a couple of ballads too, ‘Waves’ and most notably ‘Bell Street’ a song that I was much less keen on as a B-side. For whatever reason it undoubtedly works better for me in the context of the full album, lending the second half of the record a certain epic gravitas.

If there’s a criticism of the record it’s that the second ‘side’ doesn’t quite live up to the magnificent first half. But that’s really a minor quibble because song for song ‘Stay Young’ is as good as anything I’ve heard so far this year.

The Mirror Trap, it seems from a recent interview, are a little frustrated at the lack of attention paid to them. If there’s any justice in the world, ‘Stay Young’ will get them noticed – and in a big way.

Here’s the video for ‘Killing Time’:

‘Stay Young’ is released on Monday 24th February.Keep an eye on their Bandcamp for more info on how to get a hold of it..

This review is based on an advance copy of the album.