Sons and Daughters
Jul 15, 2011 Web Exclusive
In their pursuit of something more minimal, Sons and Daughters infuse their wry, gothic leanings with some new flair. They consciously reached back to their roots here—minus the rockabilly touches—for something drier and more stripped down than 2008's This Gift. In some ways, this almost feels like a rejection of that album.
Witness also the inevitable descent into toying with electronics. It's any band's prerogative, since said toys are just so damned fun. Combine them with the sonic mark of dance producer JD Twitch (Optimo) and you've got a strange new version of the band. More minimal? Almost certainly, but there's also quite a stylistic leap here.
This is not to say it doesn't maintain the band's previous post-punk elements—those spiky rhythm guitars still jump out and violate the grooviness, lest things get too complacent. But Mirror Mirror is definitely something new for this filial four-piece. It toys with that Manchester new wave that gloomed up the early '80s; or better yet the neo-psych end of that era, Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch and their Liverpool ilk (with the rough scuttle of Edinburgh and electronic beats thrown in for fermentation).
As any fan would expect, there is some great material here (along with a healthy dose of swagger): the jangling, masterful chorus of "Breaking Fun;" the dub-infused, herky-jerky rhythm workout that is "Don't Look Now." In a way, the clear stylistic changes here put a spotlight on how diverse the group's discography really is. Just when you think you know somebody....
Author rating: 6/10
Average reader rating: 8/10
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