REVERE – My Mirror / Your Target (Album Review)

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London based alt rock 7-piece Revere is a sum of its parts; melting together the musical influences and backgrounds of its members who originate all over the UK—from London and Liverpool to the Orkney Isles. Bringing together a small orchestra of guitars, violin, cello, piano, brass and synths, this unusual musical outfit gained grass-roots notoriety with their 2010 self-released debut ‘Hey! Selim’. After a partial line-up change and a year testing new material on the road, Revere return with the release of their second album, ‘My Mirror / Your Target’.

For an independent band running under their own steam, without the clout of an established label, they have achieved impressive heights with positive reviews coming from the likes of The Times, Guardian and Telegraph. They have performed sessions for the BBC’s 6 Music and Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 show, as well as having played the festival stages at WOMAD, Glastonbury, Latitude and Green Man.

A number of tracks from their debut ‘Hey! Selim’ have been reworked by members of such acts as Metronomy, Florence and The Machine and Biffy Clyro, allowing the band to release a series of well-received remix EPs. Not only have the band been remarkably busy, but they’ve been growing and maturing too.

The group’s founding frontman, Stephen Ellis, said of the new album “We learned a lot about the need for space between instruments…Revere has produced a sound on ‘My Mirror / Your Target’ which never sounds cluttered. Everything has its own space to breathe – and this is a facet of the album’s appeal that engages instantly with listeners tired of bands throwing everything at a wall in the hope of just enough sticking…”

‘My Mirror / Your Target’, which precedes a UK tour through April and May, opens with ‘I Won’t Blame You’. It’s a gentle and mounting introduction to the album that gradually layers on the myriad instruments underneath the rousing vocals of Stephen Ellis, in a track so perfectly put together, you’ll swear you’ve known it for years.

Second track ‘Keep this Channel Open’ hits in with a punch, pulling in new-wave elements and proving that Revere aren’t just recycling the tried and tested indie-acoustic sound to pamper to an existing fanbase. ‘We Won’t be Here Tomorrow’ brings the album up another notch with an energetic track playing back and forth with its own dynamics.

Revere switch easily between haunting ballads and new-wave anthems, with the orchestral underscore adding meat to a sound that could otherwise disappear into the acoustic ether. ‘Landlock’d’ is a stand-out track absorbing not only folk influences, but classical ones too, in an emotional and cinematic track that unabashedly squeezes the heart in its fist.

‘Tadoma’ will transport your mind to far-off, exotic locations, ‘Code’ will fling you into outer space, and ‘These Halcyon Days’ will pull you straight into a festival mosh-pit. By the end of these 14 tracks, you’ll have been around the universe and back.

‘Don’t Look Up, Hannah!’ is another stand-out track, opening as a punk anthem, but daring to strip right back to a piano-led ballad. It’s brave and confident, and brings together the multiple personalities of Revere. And that’s what the whole album is about; it’s a multi-sided musical dice, and you can never be sure which numbers are likely to come up next.

As the album draws to a close, you’ll find yourself falling in love with ‘What am I if I’m Not Even Dust’ and its open and heart-felt nakedness, and final track ‘Maybe we Should Step Outside’ will pull you in even further. If Revere aren’t your new favourite band by now, the closing tracks will change that.

But they’re not done with the surprises yet – let’s just roll that dice one last time.