Mirror II by The Goon Sax [8/10]

Mirror II is as indie as indie gets. With its angular, crunchy instrumentation, its wispy, wayward vocals (from each of the three singer/songwriters), its introspective lyrics, and its eschewing of bombast, I’m tempted to go for a label like art/rock. But labels mean nothing with music this vibrant and questing. The ten songs take no prisoners but each of them contains a nugget of melody and rhythmic insistence that rewards the patient listener. The first two releases from The Goon Sax felt naive (that’s no criticism). Mirror II is not naive at all, there is an undercurrent of darkness or anger or something, and it is now on constant rotate on my playlist. An important record with no filler, it begs for success. My fave tracks are the magical, urgent, off-kilter opener, “In the Stone”; the ethereal Guided by Voice weirdness of “Desire”; and “Caterpillars,” with its wavering voice breached by synths. Mirror II is recommended in the best sense: difficult to digest on first listen but quickly turning unforgettable.

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