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3.6 out of 5 stars34
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 2 July 2014
This album is a bit of a grower, but an excellent listen. A combination of dance drums with amazing musicianship. The only downside are the 'chipmunk' vocals, but there is not too much of them.
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on 28 December 2007
I've got some time to kill and thought I'd review my favourite 5 albums of the year. Top of the list? This one...

"Mirrored" will disorientate at first, then confuse, but once you've recalibrated your sensory systems you'll be in for a treat. It has a slow burn appeal that rewards those who put in the effort. Tonto and Atlas are the obvious highlights but the album is cohesive and every track has something to offer.

Battles make most sense as a live experience; where microprocessors and traditional instruments have never been used so seamlessly, so naturally - watching the band perform these songs is like watching a circus performer spin plates on poles, only the plates are the electronics and instruments and the poles are the band members themselves.

It's probably not for everyone, but everyone should try it nonetheless.
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on 17 July 2007
This is honestly one of the most interesting albums I have heard in a very long time! I love surprises and the 1st listen of this album truly sent my head to many different places.

Battles debut provides your auditory nerves with a inspired balance of loud abrasive guitars and dramatic drums that melt away into well crafted electronic moments. This record is very unpredictable and I think this is what makes it so great. I know many artists try and `break the mould` in an attempt to make music that cannot be easily packaged into existing genres, I think Battles have come pretty close with this record.

Please buy and enjoy :)
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on 20 May 2007
Call them Math Rock, Postrock, call them whatever, Battles are a progressive act in the truest sense of the word. Whereas aforementioned genres can conjure images of po-faced musical purism, Battles' sound is approached with a maximilist, more-is-more attitude. There are shades of Tortoise's jazz-rock leanings here, ooioo's tribal freak-outs, Animal Collective's joyous anarchy, even Add N to X's T-Rex meets electroclash stomp. However, it is not just a sum of disparate influences, but rather iconoclastic envelope pushing of the highest order. Music of the future? Maybe - certainly the kind of music that would frighten your parents and many of your friends, but for all the right reasons. It combines razor sharp precision with deceptively freeform shapeshifting in a manner that Miles Davies would be proud of, tightly coiled yet hypnotically groovy. Best played loud, it's an extended assault on the senses that should garner massive praise in the experimental scene and beyond. Some of it is so intense it would make Squarepusher blush, but the devil is in the detail, the intricacy of the playing is appreciably explicit throughout.

To reiterate what other reviewers have already stressed, this is an album that takes repeated listens to fully reveal itself. Some of the erratic key and rythmic changes seem alienating initially but melodic refrains that seem brutally interrupted often return (with a vengeance) via a seemingly supernatural stealth. For instance, the single 'Atlas' begins with its throbbing glam-rock-electo-trance hybrid before breaking down in a seemingly irrepreparable manner. However, the original tune underpinning the track seems to slowly morph back into life in the cavernous, tranced-out stomp, building to a fever pitch. 'Tonto', in contrast, slowly deconstructs itself, progressively unravelling throughout the track with unbelievable skill. Whereas Battles employ an arsenal of electronics on most tracks, it is very much a real band formular, closer to The Boredoms than the aforementioned 'Pusher. 'Tij', one of the album's most frenetic tracks, revolves around a cartoonish guitar lick and threatens near chaos at every turn, but is pulled back from the brink every time. Like being chased in some kind of insane Manga cartoon, it ends with propulsive snares sharp enough to take a head off. The only criticism is that some of the intermittent one-or-two minute tracks that are mere doodles and add little to the album. Also, the track 'Ddiamondd' seems simply an approximation of Animal Collective's least compelling side, overly wacky and jarring. That aside, if you like music that seeks to push the boundaries while remaining highly listenable and unpretentious - this is for you.
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on 22 June 2016
Bought as present, they like it
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on 12 December 2007
This music is very difficult to pigeonhole and that is refreshing in an age where noone seems to be able to remember music that happened more than a year ago - refreshing to hear a band sound like nothing else but itself.

The band seem to go through all the best material early on in the set. The first five tracks are excellent, quirky (thanks largely to the crazy wordless vocals which are either processed or sampled or both), hooky/catchy, angular, driving with a great funky feel which is quite pummelling at times.

Thinks take a slight nose dive into atonal self-indulgence after that with 'Rainbow', 'Bad Trails' etc - which are more like abstract soundscapes than the earlier tracks. 'Tij' and the final track put the album back together a little from the slight dip in the middle of the album.

That said this is interesting, has the right balance of simplicity and complexity, is propulsively funky and instantly memorable. If you like off kilter avant rock and any band that is cultivating an original sound, this album will be an excellent port of call.
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on 18 November 2015
Some great time signatures.
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on 2 July 2007
This album seems to have had mixed reactions from people, some of whom seem to find it completely over-rated and can't see what all the fuss is about. Other people think it's an exciting alternative rock album with experimental compositions. Personally I fall into the second category.

I think people are reacting too harshly in giving "Mirrored" a one star rating. I think this is a reaction against the glowing praise that the press have given the album rather than a constructive analysis of the music.

I bought "Mirrored" having read nothing about it and after hearing the rather excellent single "Atlas". I think the whole album is a solid and inspiring piece of work. There are touches of post rock, glam rock and electronica mixed with a quirky sense of humour. There are frantic and slightly deranged tracks that sound as if they are about to collapse alongside other mellow and more reflective pieces.

The most distinctive thing about it all is the sheer energy and sense of joy that the music puts across. I don't care for hype either but this is one album that deserves all the praise that it gets.
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on 28 December 2007
The great thing about music like this is that it's ALL about the music. I have to laugh when I read other reviewers labeling it as pretentious compared to 'Punk'. I am a child of the punk era but its art school posing of being 'from the street' and 'of the forgotten generation' make punk perhaps one of the most cerebral pretentious trends in 'popular' music.
Battles, like Mogwai, susumu yakota, Radiohead or even the Chemical Brothers are carrying on the best of the progressive rock ethic, of extending and playing joyfully with sound, sonics, instruments and the very form of music. Thank god for the 10 minute guitar solos of prog rock. Without them we wouldn't have the free-flowing unbroken all night mixes, breakdowns and enveloping sound experiences of so much music and dance floors across the planet.
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2007
"Mirrored" is an occasionally bonkers collection that suggests they are no strangers to the work of various prog rock machinists. Certain tracks have almost tribal rhythms underlying guitar, keyboard and vocal patterns, as if they had taken the more driving elements of Yes (e.g. large sections of "Relayer") and mixed them with Adam and the Ants in their most kings of the wild frontier mood. It sounds an unlikely combination but it works. Elsewhere the metronomic beats and electronic textures of everything from ancient krautrockers like Can to young whippersnappers like LCD Sound System show their influence. All of this mayhem is executed with a combination of passion, frustration and even glee that Pete Townshend would recognise instantly. So jump through the mirror.
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