Gravedigger V

The Mirror Cracked

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An after-the-fact collection of outtakes and live performances, The Mirror Cracked doesn't provide anything like a new revelation, but it does have plenty of heavily echoed snot-mouthed treats for the world to appropriately freak out to. A slew of All Black and Hairy-era cuts surface first, including the title track, a fun group original with an appropriately tripped out, descending chorus that's pure psych-freak, and versions of the Stoics' "Enough of What I Need" and "Be a Caveman." Another version of "No Good Woman" surfaces, this time with the Pandoras' Paula Pierce on backing vocals for the chorus -- it's not anything to write home about, but the overall performance is entertainingly loud. Next up are some utterly murky rehearsal runthroughs, including a version of "It's Spooky" that would be great if it could actually be properly heard and two otherwise unrecorded tracks, the original "Drivin' Me Insane" and another cover, "Stop It Baby." Eight live tracks from a 1984 date wrap everything up -- there's no doubt of the fire of the band, all five throwing themselves fully into the performances, but the recording quality is something else again. Most of the instruments come through just fine, but Leighton's vocals might as well be from two rooms over, rendering the tracks into enjoyable instrumentals that without Leighton's inspired howls aren't fully there. No surprises or unknown songs on the set list, but if there's a song to choose, try the band original "She's a Cur," which fully smokes. The Mirror Cracked later got paired with All Black and Hairy for a CD release, which made for convenient one-stop shopping for those interested in exploring the majority of the band's work.