by Fred Mills
During the Mirrors’ original 1974-75 heyday, the Cleveland combo gushed forth fetid no-commercial-potential proto-punk and avant-psych with the same kind of dark pizzazz as their heroes the Velvet Underground mustered a decade or so earlier. ROIR now takes a look at a lesser-known incarnation of the band, recorded in the late ’80s by original members Jamie Klimek (guitars, vocals) and Paul Marotta (bass, keys) plus drummer Paul Laurence. As the story goes, Another Nail in the Coffin was released on the Resonance label just in time for the company to go under. Roll “great lost album” credits.
This “remodeled” Coffin is doubled in size, from 13 to 26 cuts, with the unreleased tunes not appearing at the end as bonus material but sprinkled in throughout. The sound? Picture jittery power pop (“Who Greased the Girl”) alongside Beefheartian punk-skronk (the title track), with doses of Byrdsian jangle (“Good To Me”) and Who-styled anthemism (“I Got A Need”) thrown in for good measure. Oh, and plenty of Velvets-styled choogle, right down to the “I Think I’m Fallin’” rewrite of Uncle Lou’s “Guess I’m Falling In Love.” As Marotta informed yours truly, he and Klimek, despite securing the Coffin master tapes, kept poor records (and smoked lots of weed), and the CD’s lack of information regarding the extra stuff simply reflects that they don’t know when or where they recorded it! But, hey, mystique and intrigue, combined with copious drug intake, will always be part of the pop lexicon, eh?
Fred Mills writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.