Black Mirrors describe themselves as “Belgium’s answer to pretty much every rock band around.” Having signed onto Napalm Records (Home of stadium rock giants Alter Bridge) last summer, could we be seeing the rise of Belgian rock with their first major release, “Funky Queen”?
“Funky Queen” is a strange EP to listen to. Upon the first listen I was not impressed to say the least. What I heard was, strangely enough, exactly what they had pitched, a wide variety of influences. The issue is however, that sounding a bit like another band does not make brilliant music, especially when I could just listen to said other bands create this sound better. This is a trend throughout the four tracks of the album, leaving me with the unshakeable urge to turn it off and listen to Queens of the Stone Age.
Giving the album a fighting chance, I have listened to it multiple times and I must admit that it definitely grows on you. You’ll find yourself whistling along to the undeniably catchy opening of title track “Funky Queen” and air guitaring along to the solo on “The Mess”. All the songs on this album give off the same vibe, that they are meant to be performed live. You aren’t meant to listen to these songs on a bus through your headphones, but stood in a crowd screaming along and getting swept away by the music. After multiple listens, it has really made me want to check Black Mirrors out live.
My issues with this EP still stand. As much as it has grown on me, I cannot shake the feeling that they are wearing their influences a bit too proudly and need to try to find their own sound. No band has released a standout album whilst trying to be other bands. I really do hope that this is just a slight blemish on their future discography as having listened to their self-titled release from 2014, the potential for Black Mirrors to take off is certainly there.
Highlights; “Funky Queen”
For fans of: Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Rival Sons
Funky Queen is available now via Napalm Records
Reviewed by Alex Rawstorne