Funky Queen is the debut EP from Belgian garage rock band Black Mirrors, released 3rd March via Napalm Records. The band are a three piece from Brussels comprising frontwoman Marcella Di Troia on vocals, Pierre Lateur on guitar and Gino Caponi on bass. They cite Janis Joplin, Jack White, Anouk, Nirvana and Queens Of The Stone Age as their influences. The Joplin comparison seems to come around every now and again with female rock voices, in particular I’m reminded of Elin Larsson from Blues Pills, and in the case of both Elin and Marcella it is fully deserved.
The EP opens with title track Funky Queen. It’s a total earworm, from the ooh ooh chorus, guaranteed to go down well live, to the head-nodding guitars and a vocal completely suited to the genre. MC5 cover Kick out the Jam opens with a roar of ‘Kick out the Jam motherfuckers!’ Marcella’s vocal injects a lot of passion into the track. It’s almost unrecognisable from the original, which in my opinion is always the way to go with a cover. If you aren’t going to put your own stamp on it, why bother? Black Mirrors have definitely made this version their own, with Lateur’s guitar wailing its way into a crunching solo laden with fuzz. The Mess continues the theme, leaving me uncertain whether I want more guitar or more vocal, but sure I’m thoroughly enjoying both. The track is dark, with tons of groove in the guitar and bass and another chance for Marcella to earn her Joplin comparisons. Final track Canard Vengeur Masqué closes the EP out with a perfect example of what the band is all about. Gravelly one minute, lilting the next, the vocal is intriguing and makes me want to listen to it a lot more.
Four tracks is never enough to really get to know a band, but in the case of Black Mirrors it’s more than enough to make me eager for more. I’ll be looking out for an album, and hopefully some live shows.
- Funky Queen
- Kick out the Jam
- The Mess
- Canard Vengeur Masqué