Ever since seeing Microwave at Woodland’s Tavern on my home front here in Columbus last year I have been hooked- obsessed, really. The small, standing room only venue provided the best show I have been to, hands down (only rivaled by Foxing at the Basement). Stoval, album and song, is something that we didn’t deserve. Indie/Alternative with a hint of Emo and a touch of Hardcore. The Atlantan group followed up with the equally impressive Much Love. I’m not sure how many days in a row I’ve listened to “Whimper”. This song is the gateway to the band’s newest album, Death is a Warm Blanket. Being released on Friday the 13th, the album is held to a personal standard, One that is met undoubtedly when they dropped the music video for “Mirrors” a few days ago. As soon as the video starts it’s apparent Microwave switched it up a bit, going for heavier chords and vocals to procure emotion in the listener as opposed to painting a vivid image from story-telling lyrics. Visually, with a kaleidoscope effect used in both the head shots of the band performing in the video and the story being shown, balance of indie/alternative/hardcore/emo shifts heavily towards the emo and the harder side. As all bands must grow progress, Microwave satisfies by giving a little extra to their sound that will translate magnificently to the stage and connecting with their crowds.
The story is basic, one that can be broken down into familiar tropes found in horror/pop culture of recent decades. The grey hues and sepia glow are familiar in most recent horror films shot digitally. Our main subject is washing his face and while looking at himself in the mirror he sees a bloody version of himself standing behind him. A duality of self is common in film thrillers and novels, running from it even more common. As our subject is escaping the scene driving away, the sun creating deep contrast in light and shadows within the vessel is all to reminiscent of the opening scene of Evil Dead (1981).
While duality is a common trope, it is exemplified as a mental breakdown or mental ailing, yes, but also as a physical form referred to as the “other”. The most recent and one of the most popular versions of this is Jordan Peele’s Us (2019) The final scene in the “Mirrors” video exemplifies both tropes. Our main subject exits his vehicle in an empty parking lot, clearly dazed with the tire marks of many donut maneuvers right under his vehicle. The mental fragmenting is apparent. As it gets dark suddenly, a car very identical to his pulls up head to head and his zombie self gets out. He faces his other with a bat from his trunk. His blow to his darker self results in a shattered mirror. For all of my lucky fellow friends- Please send pics and videos of them performing at Riot fest. What a heck of a time for this album to drop.