Friday, February 24, 2012

Album Review: Maker - Mirrors

Album Rating: B+
If there's one thing worth taking away from Mirrors, the first full-length from Springfield, MA locals Maker, it's the young band's already obvious mastery of their craft and sound.  Every track found here resonates with the confidence and purpose of a band that's found their niche in the modern pop-punk scene, with the album as a whole easily meeting and exceeding the present-day standard.  Taking cues from tour-buddies in Crucial Dudes and The Story So Far, as well as drawing some obvious influence from now-defunct Jawbreaker and even early Brand New, Maker combine the vitality of passion-driven songwriting with the accessibility of beefed-up choruses, driving their product home with the familiarity and modesty of your favorite local band.

But making a splash on the scene isn't about following footsteps or blending in with your peers; it demands ingenuity and the heart to match it.  In these regards, Maker certainly show promise yet leave a good deal of room for improvement, fashioning tracks that ring loud not only of their own ideas, but with comparable ethos to that of the multitudinous other bands around them.  As deep as minute-long 'For Every Mistake I've Ever Made' digs in its nails, the precise merging of that pulsating drumbeat and those high-gain guitars derive just a little too much from a sound that's been tried and tried again.  Still, a song like 'A Postcard I Never Sent To You' showcases the solid acoustic front of a band that can throw externalities to the wind without compromising their identity, whereas '1989' incorporates a brief post-rock interlude that's as fitting to the record as it is expressive of the fresher and more vibrant tones that the Massachusetts quintet have in mind.  Both are certainly elements that one would hope to see Maker expand upon in releases to come, and ones that highlight a band with a promising sonic future.

If Maker can be commended for one last job well done on Mirrors, it would have to be their insistence on brevity.  The record as a whole spans less than half an hour, with several tracks clocking in under two minutes, a subtle yet effective ploy to ensure their general potency.  Within itself, Mirrors maintains a dynamic and youthful disposition, effectively avoiding the all too prevalent trend of bands that rehash and repeat the same features of their sound.  All in all, Mirrors easily posits itself as a record worth delving back into 2011's diverse musical catalog for, and presents a group with a future worth our anticipation.

Stream Mirrors in its entirety over on Property of Zack HERE.

1. Mirrors
2. Earthquakes
3. Tsunamis
4. For Every Mistake I've Never Made
5. 1989
6. What's In Your Head
7. A Postcard I Never Sent To You
8. 14
9. Basement Song
10.  ...I've Been Wondering

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