Sons & Daughters: Mirror Mirror
I don’t think there’s an album I’ve been more disappointed with than Sons & Daughters’ The Gift despite giving it many tries. Ditching almost entirely the Southern Gothic and dark Blues-Country hoedown that infused Love the Cup and The Repulsion Box, the Glaswegian four-piece let Bernard Butler polish their tunes with a pop sheen that seemed to suck the soul out of their sound.
Something has happened in the meantime and whilst Mirror Mirror has moved things on again there’s an enjoyably shadowy aura here that reminds you of the earlier output. Opener ‘Silver Spell’ has a chain gang stomp that makes you think Sons & Daughters have taken a swerve in the direction of These New Puritans, but the rest of the album is composed of a post-punk jerkiness, plenty of Bunnymen bass lines and a judicious, subtle and clever use of electronic interventions. Things really start to impact when they pick up the speed and intensity – ‘Rose Red’ is the standout track with Adele Bethel making some great Siouxsie noises, Scott Paterson giving the expanse and the rhythm section pushing things forward to the noise soaked ending.
It’s an often quoted adage, but one worth repeating (to me if no one else): don’t write bands off too quickly. Learn from my mistakes here.