Tuesday 7 April 2015

Review: Petals And Thorns – 'The Broken Mirror'

'The Broken Mirror'

Petals And Thorns is a Cleveland, Ohio based darkwave duo that take their cues from 90s gothic rock and darkwave acts as well as elements from the likes of Switchblade Symphony, Curve, Garbage and Delerium. The bands formula is a fairly stripped back affair with dry-distorted guitars, interacting with simple drum beats and understated electronics framing fragile female vocals. It isn't overly complicated and works pretty well.

The band's début album 'The Broken Mirror' is eight tracks of poetic lyrics,toe-tapping beats, and moody, almost fairytale-like atmospheres. Songs such as 'Habitual Ritual', 'Immoral Disclosure', 'Endless Abandon' and 'Secret dissonance' provide the main highlights of the album with their strong guitar riffs, and memorable melodies. But none of them really come close to being a real commercial highlight in the traditional sense. Perhaps the most complete and rounded song on the album is the psychedelic grunge of 'Lift The Veil', that with a little remixing could be a wonderfully captivating track in the same vein as Medicine's 'Time Baby'.

Herein lies the main issue with the album. All the fundamentals are there: great vocals, strong guitars and some nice electronics... but the production is lacking and the mix doesn't bring the best out of the songs. A little more work here could have taken the whole album up a notch. Instead there is a flatness to the sound that hampers the true potential of album.

This is a first effort, and there is a hell of a lot of potential on display on 'The Broken Mirror' on which they can build. Pushing the electronics up in the mix and more power behind the vocals would benefit a few of the choruses so they are not totally dominated by the guitars, but definitely more time in the production stages would see Petals And Thorns follow-up album reach the next level.  

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