WE REVIEW THE NEW ALBUM FROM VINYL FLOOR – FUNHOUSE MIRROR
Copenhagen-based Danish indie rock band Vinyl Floor who already have four released albums under their belt is set to release their latest album “Funhouse Mirror” this autumn. A melodic, soft rock album with hints of more experimentation than on their previous works scattered throughout.
Mainly sticking to their roots with their soft rock sound Vinyl Floor do this best on tracks such as the opener “Anything You Want” which is a smooth flowing and optimistic track about being there for your loved ones through whatever they need. With warm lyrics to accompany a homely acoustic melody evoking a comforting feeling “Anything You Want” is a hearty pick-me-up that feels consolingly nostalgic. Other tracks off the album that fit well into this mould are “Between Lines Undone”, “Ever, The Optimist”. On the track “Ever, The Optimist” Vinyl Floor also showcase their witty lyrical ability and storytelling capabilities.
Although the majority of “Funhouse Mirror” still very much falls into the soft rock genre there are more moments of experimentation and other genre influences creeping in on this album than on any of Vinyl Floor’s previous discography. Tracks such as “Stare, Scare” and “Pretty Predictable” head down more of a hard rock street with even some grunge influences on the jagged guitar chords. As well as a harsher and stronger sound, both these tracks also harbour more energy than other tracks off the album.
On other tracks such as “Dear Apollon” a more blues or jazz influence can be heard and on other songs like “Clock With No Hands” the circus music themed melody and incorporation of the saxophone adds a more unique touch. As well as instrumentally, Vinyl Floors lyricism is also curious at times using surreal metaphors and sometimes cynical humour to discuss human nature.
With its circus theme driving much of the instrumentation and lyricism at times “Funhouse Mirror” has a slightly eerie touch to it and occasionally delves into darker territory. The track “Death Of A Poet” begins a melancholy and ominous ballad detailing the story of what its title suggests. However, with a transition from its sombre tone to a playful funhouse melody feels rather creepy almost adding to the sinister message of the song. On “Dear Apollon” once again Vinyl Floor combine serious and almost ceremonial piano chords with a mischievous theatrical touch creating a slightly uneasy atmosphere.
Despite some more experimental work on “Funhouse Mirror” and the introducing of more unique themes and innovative blending of genres the album still has an issue of feeling a bit lack-lustre and repetitive at times. Whilst the circus theme is interesting, Vinyl Floor could have taken it a lot further and incorporated the album theme into their instrumentals in a more bold and enthusiastic manner. Too often for me the tracks on this album simply don’t take it far enough or shock and delight as much as they should and feel like they are not being pushed to their full potential. The title track in particular felt like a big disappointment with its repetitive melody and overly familiar song structure to the rest of the tracks on the album. The plodding melody behind many of the tracks off the album grows tiresome after too long and understates the quality of some of the instrumentation and lyricism. Overall, “Funhouse Mirror” is a decent track list but unfortunately nothing as mind-boggling or riveting as its title suggests.