Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.


Another Nail in the Remodeled (ROIR)

Like most of their contemporaries in Cleveland's underground rock scene of the '70s, the members of Mirrors floated in and out of other bands, couldn't get gigs, and recorded rarely. While the Dead Boys got a major-label deal, Pere Ubu some cult fame, and Rocket From the Tombs and Electric Eels periodic hat tips in the form of various bootlegs, Mirrors' recording road was the rockiest -- strange, since they were the most melodic of all.

Mirrors never got around to laying down an album proper until the very end of the '70s -- maybe. See, things get tricky. Resonance, an '80s noise-rock indie, released the original, vinyl-only version of Another Nail in the Coffin in 1989 -- or so says the ROIR website -- though the record itself says 1991. A week after the album came out, the label went under. Supposedly, boxes of the record still sit in a New Jersey warehouse. Since nailing down the exact recording dates of this stuff is nearly impossible, 1976-'80 is a good guess. ROIR now collects it all for this extremely welcome release.

By the time of these recordings, Mirrors had settled into a groove as a trio of cult-rock foot soldiers. "I'm the One," "Another Nail," and "I Think I'm Falling" sugar-coat punk riffs and drop in screechy wailing bridges, ultimately conjuring some new-wave crest that never reached shore. The band easily leaps from sweetie-pie preening ("If I Swear") to pickled punch ("I Got a Need"). Later sounds ("Halt Amphigory," "And I Saw You") veer into nerd jangle, using Byrds licks in a manner that such later lo-fiers as R.E.M., GBV, and Pavement would embrace. All of it was propelled by Jamie Klimek's nervous, bookworm-as-budding-purse-snatcher cooing.

Mirrors' attempts to take the '75 Cleveland sound from the alleys to the main drag without a noticeable "sellout" is as impressive as any in American new wave. This is some real, forward-thinking pop -- sans the showbiz glitz that might've gotten them signed, but would've relegated them to an asterisk in a Devo biography, however unwarranted.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Speaking of Regional Beat

More by Eric Davidson


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


Staff Pick Events

  • Cleveland Comedy Awards @ Hilarities Comedy Club

    • Mon., March 30
  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays

© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation