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Hands In My Pockets

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Album Review

Hands in My Pockets collects most of what the Mirrors left to posterity. This CD, released on Overground (through the British company Voiceprint), is best put next to the label's similar productions of the Electric Eels and the Styrenes, all interconnected Cleveland groups. The Mirrors were active between 1973 and 1975, thus overlapping the last days of the Electric Eels and the beginnings of Pere Ubu. This was guitarist/singer Jamie Klimek's band (he and keyboardist Paul Marotta would later join the Styrenes). Klimek wrote most of the band's songs. Compared to the provocative rawness of the Eels, the Mirrors appear much more subtle, competent, and interesting overall. The studio tracks (over three-quarters of the album) show the band looking for a new sound, somewhere between the psychedelic rock of West Coast groups like Jefferson Airplane, the less bucolic garage rock of the late '60s, and an avant-gardist form of punk rock that would later become Pere Ubu's signature sound. The influence of the Velvet Underground, Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd, and early Who resurface everywhere, usually well channeled toward the aforementioned goal. A few live tracks and home recordings can be hard to listen to, but they represent only a small portion of the CD and complement the more professional output, especially since the group packed quite a bit more decibels on-stage. Fans of garage rock and proto-punk will appreciate this chunk of history, and anyone interested in '70s Cleveland punk will find it essential — and a lot cheaper than a used Mirrors 7." ~ François Couture, Rovi


Formed: April, 1973 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s

It can be said that wherever the good spaceship the Velvet Underground touched down, weird bands started to spring out of the soil. The Velvets appeared in the Cleveland, OH, area no less than 14 times between 1968 and 1971, and by 1973, Cleveland's Mirrors were playing the local high-school dance and saloon circuit, with a sound reminiscent of the Velvets, but also throwing in a dash of humor, some hard-rocking post-psychedelic grooves, a nod to the progressive strain current at the time, and even...
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Hands In My Pockets, Mirrors
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