Wayne Szalinski
Black Mirror


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dean R CONTRIBUTOR (52 Reviews)
July 14th, 2015 | 42 replies


Release Date: 10/21/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Black Mirror” is a solid debut from this fledgling indie-emo outfit

I find it surprising that Wayne Szalinski’s debut LP “Black Mirror” hasn’t got that much exposure, considering that their style of emo tinted math-rock is quite popular at the moment, and has been for a few years now. Though perhaps it’s because Black Mirror stands apart from its contemporaries in that it’s not really an emo record in any conventional sense of the word. While the lyrics of Black Mirror may contain oblique references to sexual uncertainty and masculinity, it lacks that awfully self-deprecating introspective feeling many bands dwell in that so often drag a debut down. Even more impressive is Wayne Szalinski’s heavy math rock slant manages to stay away from the self-indulgent noodling that so often comes with the “math” tag.

“Black Mirror” is a strange mix of emo, math rock and indie rock that strays between each almost equally. It’s catchy in a very subdued way, chilled indie riffs and math rock choruses interspersed with melodic downtime, while vocalist Andy Milad’s quivering vocals take most of the focus and are at the forefront of proceedings. For some this is a blessing and others not, it really depends on how one takes Milad’s sugary crooning as it is somewhat over the top on the appropriately titled opener “Sweetness” and strays into exaggerated angst on “Atrophy for Lethargy”. Milad’s vocals are best when he’s at his most understated, letting the catchy upbeat melodies carry along his soft singing with not too much of the limelight, such as in the softly sweet “Kiss Me In The City”.

“Black Mirror” surpasses its math rock peers in its fluidity as well, as each song meanders along gracefully, flawlessly morphing from intricate guitar driven choruses to mellifluous trumpeting on “Bandages”. Although for all the changes in tone “Black Mirror” still feels somewhat one sided. While the bouncy riffs and upbeat choruses are fun and pleasing to the ear, there isn’t enough to dig your teeth into over periods of extended time. It’s a superficially pleasing experience, sugary sweet riffs mixed with introspective musings that feel meaningful but lack any memorable tone or climax.

But if you can look past the sometimes sickly vocals and pop-emo aesthetic “Black Mirror” is a solid debut from a band that could have easily gone the wrong way. From a song-writing perspective Wayne Szalinski show a lot of potential, as “Black Mirror” feels extremely natural and confident the whole way through. But for all the fluidity and motion these tracks possess, they still tend to end up not really going anywhere. If this energy and momentum could be refined and directed in a way that allows the songs to actually build and go somewhere then Wayne Szalinski's second LP could be something truly special.



Recent reviews by this author
SeeYouSpaceCowboy... Fashion Statements of the Socially AwareUnsane Sterilize
Geotic NeptuneGeotic Duchenne Smile
Dizzee Rascal RaskitYowie Synchromysticism
user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2015


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

feedback appreciated as always



https://wayneszalinski.bandcamp.com/

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked For Death

LotusFlower
July 14th 2015


12002 Comments


Oh, I remember these guys from a blog post I made a while back for Fondly Truly. Didn't know they had a an LP out though.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2015


15610 Comments


Great review Mort, I don't know if I agree as I've not heard this yet but will check it out.

Only minor thing I noticed you might want to edit is you hyphenate math-rock early on and then stop using the hyphen later

Digging: Beck - Colors

Tunaboy45
July 14th 2015


15521 Comments


Awesome review Mort, might have to give this a go.

deathschool
July 14th 2015


21896 Comments


Great review, pos. may check

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2015


15610 Comments


This dude's voice sounds like the Antony Hegarty of emo, it's distinct I'll give him that

zakalwe
July 14th 2015


22990 Comments


i.e warbly drivel.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2015


15610 Comments


Warbly drivel would be a useful genre tag

Judio!
July 14th 2015


8401 Comments


Always makes me happy to see when people enjoy their assigned album this much ;)

Very well-written review have a pos

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 14th 2015


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks all

wacknizzle
July 15th 2015


14516 Comments


Good review Mort, gonna check this in a bit

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
July 15th 2015


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks wack

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
November 20th 2015


19046 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

under appreciated artist...Atrophy for Lethargy is amazing

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
April 9th 2016


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

havent listened to this in ages, forgot how damned pleasant it is

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
April 10th 2016


19046 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

ikr. love this album i come back to it every few weeks or so

TVC15
January 23rd 2017


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Holy shit I've been looking for this album for such a long time! Been looking since my second rating wipe a few years ago and I found this while searching for the Black Mirror soundtrack



I'll put in the Black Mirror soundtracks into the database when I'm done givin this a thorough jamming

Digging: Carcass - Heartwork

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2017


19046 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

killer album here nice bump

TVC15
January 23rd 2017


8576 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dude you have no idea how happy I am that I'm reunited with this

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
January 23rd 2017


19046 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

it wouldve been a sad album to say goodbye to honestly

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is such a sweet album



very chill



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy