Review / Pupil Slicer – Mirrors

The band name gives it away; this music is razor sharp, visceral and raw. With metallic hardcore riffs that cut and dice their way through a cacophony of mathcore and grind-fuelled rage, Pupil Slicer make music to be felt writhing deep underneath the skin.

Mirrors is the debut full-length album from this ridiculously talented London-based trio, and it has all the piss and vinegar, all the unbridled fury and confidence of a band ready to take on the world. Imagine the attack of Ithaca, the rhythmic left turns of Car Bomb and the carnage of Napalm Death and you’ve got a fair indication of what being in the company of Pupil Slicer is like.

In Kate Davies, they have one formidable vocalist, and an even more incredible guitarist. Her caustic, scattergun riffs bounce off the brutal bass tones of Luke Fabian with unnerving ease; check out the urgent push and pull of ‘Vilified’ and the chugging, pick scrape littered savagery of ‘Husk’. Completing the threesome is sticksman Josh Andrews, whose whiplash-inducing work on ‘Stabbing Spiders’ and pounding brutality on ‘Save The Dream, Kill Your Friends’ somehow manages to contain the furor with extraordinary skill and precision.  

Covering complex topics such as abuse, anxiety and depression, Mirrors is far from a comfortable listen, with Davies’ powerful screams often bolstered further by the guttural bellow of four-stringer Fabian. There are some quieter passages amongst the butchery too, like the atmospheric outro to ‘L’Appel Du Vide’ and the haunting interlude found in lead single ‘Wounds Upon My Skin’, but even these are filled with underlying unease and a gnawing sense of menace.

It’s always easy to call a new release an album of the year contender in these early months, but with Mirrors, Pupil Slicer have created such a unique and well-executed, well-written dose of musical extremity that it’s simply unimaginable to think this won’t be featuring high up in the 2021 roundups. Hopefully, when it’s safe to happen again, we can all lose our collective shit to this in a sweaty live setting too.

Mirrors is released 12th March via Prosthetic Records and can be purchased here.

Words: Adam Pegg

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