By Danny Roca | 19 June 2008
Mirrorkicks are quite feasibly the hardest working band in South London. Having been formed from the ashes of numerous bands, they have, through various line-ups, been touring for over ten years both in the UK and Europe, growing a steadily increasing base of fans. It is easy to understand why, although beginning from inasuspicious beginnings, Mirrorkicks are a tight rock band recalling post-Britpop Manic Street Preachers and The Bends (1995)-era Radiohead.
2008 saw Mirrorkicks entering the studio and though four tracks were produced (available on their MySpace page) it is “Podium” which, while still rough around the edges, hints at how Mirrorkicks are evolving both as musicians and as songwriters.
It kicks open with a funk-conscious stuttering see-saw guitar line which is sweetly juxtaposed against Anil Kamalagharan’s vocals. Residing between a keening purr and a breathy whisper, it is on the unashamedly huge chorus, that superimposes Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” over Soundgarden, that his vocal chops are really put to the test, showing off a raspy falsetto that, if not so fragile, could have easily made the song overtly boorish.
However, it is not Anil’s vocals but the subtlety in the playing which makes “Podium” stand head and shoulders over their other songs. During the verses, brother Ingmar’s drumming is as inventive as Anil’s guitar – off-setting hi-hats and kick drums as counterpoints to the angles of Anil’s line. Edwin Pereira’s guitar harmonics add a sense of depth to the verses and Gerard De Waal’s bassline is both fluid and when required such as during the instrumental break with the raga-tinged strings, adds a much needed muscularity and weightiness.
Top up with some Brit-invasion harmonies and a sweetly downplayed ending and Mirrorkicks have got their anthem pretty much sewn up. “Podium” has a universality that in the hands of a producer like Ken Nelson or Nigel Godrich would be made abundantly clear to everyone. For now, definitely one to watch, but armed with a few more songs like “Podium” Mirrorkicks could see their hard work paying off.