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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

music review-Talented musicians unable to hide obvious influences in new release

By Kenney Kost/editor-in-chief

Inward/Outward, Mire
Inward/Outward, Mire

Having influences and paying respect to the bands that inspire people to play the music they play is one thing. It’s completely different and oftentimes off-putting when a band crafts its sound around the ideas of one band with stark similarities.

This is the case with Mire’s debut LP Inward/Outward and its obvious infatuation with the sound and themes of Los Angeles-based progressive-math-rock outfit Tool.

That is not to say the band is not talented. Tool writes some of the most complex, odd-metered music out there. To recreate that type of sound displays a vast knowledge of music theory and the instruments each member of Mire plays.

The opening track “Complex” is a good song. It has the peaks and valleys one looks for when listening to good progressive music. The peaks are heavy and climactic, and the valleys are spacey and introspective. However, halfway through, one might think it’s a Tool recording.

Literally, at the 3:55 mark during the breakdown, it sounds like they cut-and-pasted the breakdown from Tool’s “The Pot. Literally. One could play them side-by-side, and there wouldn’t be a difference.

When trying to tackle themes such as spirituality, infinity and eternity, the human condition and death, there is a fine line between profound and cheesy. Frontman J.P. Lachapelle toes this line throughout the record and at times, more often than not, veers into the realm of cheese.

During “Limitless Pt. 1,” this is evident.

“Just like two sides/dark and bright they always fight/world’s weight toppling/sear and scar you know who you are.”

This is nothing that hasn’t been said before by much better writers throughout the years. The ongoing struggle between the forces of good and evil has been the basis of many stories told through several entertainment mediums. As a matter of fact, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan does this in a much more poignant light on the 10,000 Days song “Right In Two.”

Again, this is not a knock on Lachapelle’s talent as a singer. He is a great vocalist. He just lacks the writing talent that a truly great frontman for a progressive band should have. The stories are vital to the music in this genre.

The best track on the record is “Open Circle.” The song opens with some off-time guitar and bass work layered over some tight percussion. Between each peak and valley, Mire adds tension with its guitar work and pulls back, only to add more tension with each peak. Once the climax is reached, Mire never lets up and delivers a song that causes the listener to wonder where more of this sound is on the record.

Inward/Outward is packed full of music theory and complex compositions. The band oozes talent. The only problem is, and it’s a big one, the creativity is not its own. The band owes it all to Tool.

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