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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 193 - 06/04/12

So Shush
A Mirror Gaze
Carrie Beats

So Shush is a Salford (Manchester) duo, combining the voice of Carole Smart and the guitar/keyboard/percussive talents of Ian Drumm. They've been around for some years (sorry, So Shush - I'm all blank on your former activities), and A Mirror Gaze is in fact their 4th album, following their self-titled debut (2008), Wistful Wanders (2009), and Manchester Times (2010). According to wikipedia, they're '...relatively unknown in their own country...', but: '...have generated a following in the US having featured coast to coast on numerous FM radio and internet radio play lists.'

So Shush sound so British, and their indie/twee pop is quite a bit like the Sarah bands (or related) from the early 90s. Especially Carole's vocals make me recall Heavenly, or even Snowpony from later on in the 90s. The exception is that the keyboards add a certain dash of early 80s new wave mixed with a neo-psychedelic, and even progressive vibe. The opener makes me really wonder and raise my eyebrows: Hey, is this a cover song, a sample or what? The guitar riff intro to "Gladiator Mice" is like hearing Fugazi's "Margin Walker" (the title track off their 1989 EP). It's almost identical - is this an ode to Fugazi, or what? "Girls" is a catchy and colourful song, twisting and twirling. "Desolation" is another punchy track, showing the more psychedelic rock side of So Shush. Lyrically I notice a nod or two towards the prose/lyrical world Morrissey. Or, maybe not.

Well, despite a couple of songs, A Mirror Gaze doesn't rock my world, or my boat. Or my head. Or my socks off. Sorry, just being honest and frank.

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