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Friday, April 13, 2012

Album Review - Mockingbird: S/T EP

Do not judge this book by the cover, Mockingbird is neither pretty nor petite. And this mockingbird doesn't become redundant, merely mimicking the other birds' tunes. This Mockingbird is composed of four Ohio musicians with "...the personal necessity to create and break from the chains and illusions that confine our limited everyday senses". Beginning as a trio in 2008, Andy [Strickland], Chad,[Beverlin] and Mike [Faucher] decided to add depth to their sound in 2009 by adding another guitarist, Tom [Muron]. Taking on the D.I.Y. ethic Mockingbird ventured to Columbia, South Carolina's The Jam Room Studios to record their self-titled debut.

What was conceived was this... a groovy-doom laden self-titled EP that runs approximately thirty five minutes in six tracks. Yes, it goes by quickly, but this shoe-gaze induced doom metal is of the highest quality and will certainly have a mesmeric effect . Andy and Tom's guitars are layered thick and groovy, driving five of the six tracks. The vocals emerge hauntingly in sequence with the instrumentals, yet flood each song in passionate agony. The bass' foundation is prominent throughout each track and combined with the brawny percussion creates a thunderous stampede, but never overpowers these musicians solidarity.

With a quick roll of the snare Puma Puncu is underway and immediately Mockingbird is telling a story of affliction and trauma. The vocals are truly striking here and throughout the remaining three minutes of Mockingbird's opener. Burdens, like most songs on Mockingbird's EP, gets straight to the sludgy business that keeps us coming back. Around the one minute mark we're blasted with the hum of an Australian wind drone and the track quickly gallops into a limber drum pattern. Burdens then transfers fluidly back into a sludgy trough and an addition of well placed guitar squeals keeps the track versatile. The EP closes with the unpredictable and enchanting Trained Apes. Breaking away from the visceral charge of songs like Puma Puncu and Burdens, Trained Apes is focused by the plucking of a single electro-acoustic guitar, while a psychedelic bubbling, laughter, and howling delight. The most memorable iota to this extraordinary instrumental piece is the sound of the sliding of the strings between note and chord changes, sowing a very intimate and human heart inside this pterodactyl-sized Mockingbird.

The guys keep very busy touring, playing with genre-defining acts like Unsane, Jucifer, Mouth of the Architecht, and Fistula. They will be playing with the Heavy Planet favorite, Lo-Pan at the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, Pittsburgh this Saturday (14 April 2012), if you're in the area check them out and pick up a CD. If not, one can be purchased at Innervenus and Hellville Records. In the mean-time, check out this extremely well performed (and shot) video of Puma Punca live at The Rock Room.


Andy Strickland - Guitar / Vocals
Chadd Beverlin - Drums
Mike Faucher - Bass / Vocals
Tom Muron - Guitar

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