Pupil Slicer – ‘Mirrors’

By James Lillywhite

It would be hard to find a more visceral name for a band than Pupil Slicer – just combining those words elicits shock, horror and revulsion. It’s quite the first impression. 

But then Pupil Slicer are quite the band. They sound exactly how you want them to with that name – violent, aggressive, and intense. The London trio have been gathering a bit of hype in recent months – and their debut ‘Mirrors’ doesn’t disappoint. This is an angry, nihilistic and deeply impressive record. 

Clocking in at around 36 minutes, ‘Mirrors’ doesn’t hang around. Instead, it’s an exploration of how many ways the band can beat you around the head; grindcore, mathcore, hardcore and death metal are all thrown into the mix, sometimes in one song. The group change up styles so many times it makes your head spin, but in the best possible way. 

The album becomes more extraordinary when you realise that all this noise is made by just three people – vocalist and guitarist Kate Davies, bassist Luke Fabian and drummer Josh Andrews are a group of seriously talented musicians. All three get time to shine across the record, especially in tracks like ‘Worthless’ and ‘Husk’. Once live music returns, it will be amazing to see these three perform on stage. 

That said, this record is still wildly impressiv on record and when all three members combine together perfectly, it leads to some amazing moments. ‘Mirrors’ is packed with short, brutal jolts of grindcore like ‘Stabbing Spiders’, and ‘Kill Your Dreams, Save Your Friends’, but it’s actually during the longer, more expansive moments that Pupil Slicer prove they stand out from the extreme metal crowd.

‘Mirrors Are More Fun Than Television’ is the best example of that. Across the nearly seven minutes it shows the best of Pupil Slicer – intense, musical wizardry that happens to be heavy AF. They change up time signature and genre frequently across the track, giving it a dynamism that a song this long, in this type of music, really needs. 

For their debut, Pupil Slicer have really thrown everything at the wall, and most of it sticks but it will be interesting to see just which direction they gravitate towards on future projects. They clearly have the musical chops to do anything they want, but whether they stick to this frenzied onslaught approach or try to master one sound remains to be seen. 

With ‘Mirrors’, Pupil Slicer have emerged as a truly exciting prospect for the UK underground scene. This debut record is not for everyone but if you like your music extreme and violent, look no further. Equal parts impressive and terrifying, Pupil Slice have made a huge statement with this debut – and it is very exciting to see where they will go next. 

JAMES LILLYWHITE

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