Everyone likes Tool, it seems. Some people like Tool a little
too much, I think. This new Canadian band Mire is, from the very first track, a
fan of Tool. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, even for those that dislike
Tool. However, Mire does sound quite a bit like the famed prog metallers, and I
think they are pretty proud of that fact. Their debut album "Inward/Outward" is
an ode to Tool, but there is a bit more going on at times, too.
Mire has the signature sound down pat: the dark and heavy
riffing, the kinetic instrumentals, the bouncing bass, the slightly abrasive
edge, and the extremely complex time signatures. Heck, singer J.P. Lachapelle
even sounds quite a bit like Maynard, possibly with a slightly rougher edge. So,
if you are wondering what Mire sounds like, I guarantee that you already know.
That aside, though, Mire has put together a good debut album. Sure, their
influence is front and center, but I feel there are other influences at play,
too, such as Audioslave on some of the soloing, A Perfect Circle in the softer
moments, and Rage Against the Machine is some of the grooves.
In all honesty, I'm not overly fond of Tool. I always found
their music to be a little too calculating and abrasive for my tastes, and I
find similar problems here. First and foremost, I find the vulgar language to be
unnecessary. It doesn't bother me, but in music I tend to find it juvenile and
lame. The lack of melody is what really gets me on "Inward/Outward", though. The
grinding guitars offer little more than mental numbness. Some of the tracks,
such as "Limitless", are rather pleasant and lean more toward A Perfect Circle.
These tracks are definitely my favorite.
However, with all of that said, the band should be
congratulated on their musicianship. The beating heart of this album is
virtuosity, and we hear it time and again on tracks such as "Complex" or "Tyrannicide".
So, what this album lacks in listen-ability, it gains in sheer complexity. Tool
literally has nothing on Mire in this department, and the band should really
take heart from this. If they can recreate such a signature sound as Tool's,
they should have no problem venturing off into their own territory.
Mire is a Tool clone. I'll just say it. However, in a world
where Tool repeatedly doesn't deliver, Mire could really find a following. They
have the chops and they have the guts to create something of their own, and I
hope that they do. I hope they leave the shadow of their influences and start to
wow us with something we've never heard.