Quix*o*tic's deadpan delivery on their debut, Mortal Mirror, makes their gloomy garage and goth punk marches seem, though probably unintentionally, like an exercise in irony. The Washington, D.C., trio has toured with the likes of Sonic Youth, Papa M, Blonde Redhead, Fugazi, and the Rapture, but their debut lacks the dynamic power of those bands, not to mention guitarist Christina Billotte's own mod punk outfit Slant 6. "Ice Cream Sundae," for example, borrows directly from Syd Barrett's "Love You" ("Ice cream sundae/I've seen you looking good the other day"), but strips the reference of Barrett's loopiness, his kooky joy, and heartfelt sentiment. Aaron Neville manages to lift Quix*o*tic into more sublime territory when they cover his "Tell It Like It Is," but with Black Sabbath's "Lord of This World," you'd rather hear the original. Quix*o*tic sounds unlike any other band, sprinkling the Cramps' atmosphere with B-horror movie doom, but on their debut, they just haven't discovered how to make their unique sound immediate and compelling.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano