Mirage Box is a band out of Orlando, FL. Their sound has been described as modern retro which, I know, is an oxymoron but I was excited to hear their new E.P. “Contents Under Pressure”. I will admit, I did some promotional work for Mirage Box a few months ago before their E.P. hit the streets and heard the song ‘Juarez’ at that time. “Juarez’ is the first single released off the EP and I was reasonably pleased with the single. It showed some promise and plotted a direction for the band. It starts off kind of mellow and melodic and builds throughout the song and was really an interesting tune and I was looking forward to hearing more from the band. Mirage Box is a collaboration between Nick Coppola, a prolific songwriter and lyricist, and Chris Capozza, a multi-instrumentalist audio engineer and music producer.
The influences they cite reads like a who’s who of rock music in its golden age from The Beatles to Steely Dan and almost everything in between. Many of those influences are evident throughout the EP. At times, you can pick out flashes of The Who, Kansas, Genesis and others which makes for a confusing record. Let me back up. The first I had heard of Mirage Box, they had covered a song from 1974 that I had always liked called ‘Magic’ from a little known band called Pilot. The song reached #5 on the charts and I remember it fondly. Mirage Box’s cover was a faithful rendition but didn’t deviate much from the original. When I heard ‘Juarez’ I thought the band was destined for something special. Unfortunately, to my surprise, ‘Juarez’ so far is the watershed for this band.
The rest of the material on “Contents Under Pressure” is rather lackluster. Influences are great. They are what inspire you. Inspiration, however should lead you in a direction that is all your own. I can’t help get the feeling listening to this record that some of the licks and some of the melodic lines were almost forced in order to sound like their heroes. After listening to the EP a couple of times over now, I really haven’t changed my initial impression of this band. I do believe there is a nucleus here that could produce some very good music but my advice to Nick and Chris is get in touch with yourselves and put what you’ve got on the table. I want to hear what you can do and not how much you can sound like someone else. Perhaps if they discounted “retro” in the description and concentrated on the “modern” we might get to hear something really special from this band in the future.
Uncle Duke; a.k.a. Rob Penland is the producer and host of "The Mad Music Asylum" a 4 hour weekly syndicated radio show and now a 24 hour streaming internet station.