By Maria Lubanovic, Staff Writer
[Robot High School; 2017]
Key Tracks: “Brounce,” “Mendoza,” “Whoa, Mossman!!”
Memory Mirror is indie-electro band The Octopus Project’s sixth album and their first produced by their own record label. The band recently worked on several movie soundtracks, but have tried to use this album to break away from thematic elements and focus on experimenting. This album is a complex, yet overall feel-good album, with upbeat electronic tracks and well-done instrumentals, feeling like great road trip music.
The album opens with a high-energy guitar riff that goes into the super short “Prism Riot,” an escape for any expectations for this album. This carries right into “Brounce,” which has just the right amount of guitar and escalating electronic vibes. “Wrong Gong” has background instrumentals that sound like it is straight from an 8-bit videogame.
“Mendoza” features a bubbly background track, and brings an exciting instrumental break. This has to be one of the most fun tracks on the album; It leaves listeners thirsty for more simplistic and upbeat tracks, which will be delivered later and in small bursts throughout the album. Even though it is a good slower track and might stand better alone, “Remember Remembering” is a bit of a letdown after “Mendoza.” “Understanding Fruit” is similar, bringing a more traditional guitar and bass sound, but settling into a fun and comfortable groove. It’s completely instrumental, which allows the groove to remain uninterrupted by lyrics to decipher.
With a simple yet popping background and drum pattern, “Small Hundred” picks up some of the steam that “Remember Remembering” lost. Percussive lyrics drive the short track into “Pedro Yang,” a more dissonant and electronic track with psychedelic lyrics and a texture that feels like swimming through a computer lead, making this song go in a different direction from its neighbors.
“Whoa, Mossman!!” has a similar feeling to “Mendoza,” with a complex upbeat background and guitar riff that is almost danceable; It almost feels like the track ends too soon. After so many electronic sounding tracks, “Cuidate” slams in with a guitar that is almost punk-like. It’s so short, it’s like taking a breath before plunging back into the electronic sea of sound. “Ledgeridge” finds an eerier and dissonant groove very quickly, with long ringing tones and ascending electric notes. Halfway through the song, the entire feeling completely changes, almost as if two different songs were smashed together.
The album literally ends on a low note. “Leven” is driven by bass and quieter singing. It’s an appropriate ending, soft but still permeated by electric texture. Memory Mirror is experimental, but not to the point where it is no longer enjoyable. Go ahead, put it on your road trip playlist for the summer.