Mirrorless is the sophomore album from Albany, NY based duo Ignis. Made up of Colby and Tristan Beach, the duo seems to have a fondness for alternative rock, post-punk, and indie rock. Despite having some recognizable tropes, there’s some uniqueness to Mirrorless. I can’t say the album held my interest from start to finish, but Ignis have some real standout moments.
There’s a rather large elephant in the room that I think we should address right off the hop, and that’s Colby Beach’s vocal style. If I had to guess, I’d say his Matt Bellamy meets Robert Smith style of singing is likely to turn off a good number of listeners. While I don’t totally hate the vocals, I can understand why they wouldn’t be appealing. Now, on to the album.
Mirrorless kicks off with the moody tune “Wombat.” Admittedly one of the shakier vocal performances on the album, Colby and Tristan Beach’s instrumental is strong throughout and sets a pretty sombre tone. Ignis keep this vibe going through tracks like “Backstreets” and “Fade Away,” with a few lighter moments on songs like “My Way.” A favourite for me was the song “Red Dress.” The main instrumental melody and intermittent heavy guitars structure the song well and the gloominess is off the charts.
I think Mirrorless would’ve made a solid EP, but a full-length album was a bit of a drag. I’m trying not to harp on the vocals too much, but they really do get trying by the end of this thing. A fairly straightforward song like “Southside Drive” just doesn’t jive with Colby’s melodramatic style. My other main gripe with the album is how repetitive Ignis get with some of the music. While it helps add to the mood of “Red Dress,” the predictable structure of songs like “Go With Me” doesn’t give you much reason to relisten.
Ignis are an interesting band. They’ve got a familiar instrumental style, but the vocals bring something different to the table. I think if they trimmed the fat and took a few more musical risks, Mirrorless would’ve been more of a treat to sit through. Give this album a chance, you’ll know pretty quickly whether Ignis will be your thing or not.
Written by Justin Bruce
*edited by Mike Milito