Funhouse Mirror

Vinyl Floor

Karmanian, 2022

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Vinyl Floor is a Danish band formed by brothers Thomas Charlie Pedersen and Daniel Pedersen. With four previous albums under their belt—none of which, I must admit, I’d heard of, much less heard—one would think that they had their act fairly polished to the point that any release they would launch on the public would be powerful and gripping.

Funhouse Mirror, Vinyl Floor’s fifth full-length release, doesn’t quite deliver on those hopes. The music is pleasant enough, but there isn’t enough that grabs me by the ears and says, “Pay attention! This is important stuff!”

The brothers Pedersen handle most of the instruments themselves (with some help from Bebe Risenfors and Rob Stoner on a few tracks), and there’s no doubt they’re capable musicians and talented songwriters. Again, not having heard their previous releases, it seems safe to conclude that they took all the lessons they learned prior and tried to focus the results on the ten tracks comprising this disc.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The issue isn’t with the performances, or even the songwriting per se. Tracks like “Clock With No Hands,” “Ever, The Optimist” and “Pretty Predictable” are pleasant enough to listen to. The issue is that this is all they tend to be—simply pleasant tunes that would play in the background unobtrusively. There isn’t anything that commands the listener’s attention or suggests that the band is on the cusp of something big in their career.

Yet some hope lies within Funhouse Mirror. “Stare, Scare” has a powerful opening that does make the listener sit up and pay attention. In this particular case, the vocal performance (akin to a poor man’s Psychedelic Furs) takes away from that power—which is a shame. Similarly, the disc’s closing track “Days” has the power and majesty that the album overall had been missing—dear Lord, where were these moments? Had there been more examples on the disc like these two tracks, and with stronger vocal performances, my overall opinion of the album would be much stronger.

The thing is, I went into this wanting to sing the praises of Vinyl Floor. I wanted to have my socks knocked off by Funhouse Mirror, without having heard a single note. Something about the band made me intrigued enough to give them a chance. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough of these moments to live up to my expectations, and when they finally did come, they came too late to save the disc as a whole.

If anything, the closing tracks of Funhouse Mirror should serve as the template for the Pedersens whenever it comes time to do their next disc. If there were more moments like “Days” and “Stare, Scare,” then I truly believe these guys could be a powerhouse band on the fringes of greatness. For now, though, Funhouse Mirror stands as a faded, cracked reminder of what could have been.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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