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Sugar Spine – Mirror Talk

Sugar Spine
Mirror Talk
by Issy Herring at 09 May 2022, 5:53 AM

SUGAR SPINE have just released their debut EP “Mirror Talk”. The Australian metalcore effort consists of one-man band and multi-instrumentalist Josh Muncke. SUGAR SPINE are a fairly new musical project, only forming in late 2021. Since their first single release “Go Outside” in October 2021, two more singles “Gutter Paint” and “Mirror Talk” were revealed. They are to be featured on the first extended play, which was released on April 22nd, 2022, independently. The first track is “Gutter Paint”, which starts off on rather an unexpected note with an almost hypnotising synth beat. The song then jumps in immediately with Muncke’s insane unclean vocals paired with a thundering guitar riff which is instantly addictive. In this track, Muncke shifts instantly and effortlessly between his clean and unclean vocal efforts, and it really pays off! Next up is “83”, which starts off with an impactful and powerful guitar riff which certainly grabs your attention. This carries on for the entirety of the song, with the constantly changing instrumentals really helping to pique your interest throughout.

The title track “Mirror Talk” is next, which begins slightly differently with Josh Muncke’s clean vocals shining through. However, Muncke then moves on to bigger things with his unclean vocals taking over rather quickly! It appears that the song speaks lyrically about Muncke’s experience dealing with posers and phoneys in the music industry. “Black Stag” takes us back to the truly intense metalcore sound of SUGAR SPINE, with more thumping guitar riffs and unclean vocals doing the talking; before the inevitable breakdown which is typical of this genre. “Crusader” starts off with an intriguingly catchy guitar riff, before Muncke’s vocals kick in giving us all the energy we need! As a lot of tracks on this extended play, this track is changing all the time with the use of different riffs throughout, making it extremely exciting to listen to. There is almost a mathcore feel to it, similar to that of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN. “Sensation” is filled to the brim with infectious guitar riffs that just keep you wanting more and more! The last track on “Mirror Talk” is “Pen or Sword”, featuring San Francisco’s very own guitarist Nick Rossi. This is the only collaboration on the entire release, and it certainly delivers. The whole collaboration is electric, keeping you alert from start to finish. It even includes some background synths, which really add to the overall sound.

“Mirror Talk” is one of the best metalcore releases I have heard this year to date. With the impactful and dramatic guitar riffs and the classic breakdowns that we all know and love – what’s not to like?! Considering that Muncke started SUGAR SPINE in 2021, this is a wonderfully epic first release. There is no doubt in my mind that Muncke and his project will be moving on to bigger and better things in the future!

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 7
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Gutter Paint
2. 83
3. Mirror Talk
4. The Black Stag
5. Crusader
6. Sensation
7. Pen Or Sword
Josh Muncke – Vocals/Guitar/Bass/Drums
Record Label: Independent


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