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.