Sugar Spine – Mirror Talk (EP Review)

Sugar Spine Mirror Talk EP Review

Sugar Spine – Mirror Talk EP 
Released: 22 April, 2022 


Josh Muncke // Solo Artist



Looking for a fun EP? Look no further than the debut release from multi-instrumentalist Josh Muncke, who’s releasing his Mirror Talk EP under the moniker Sugar Spine. Stretching across a fine breadth of genres, the seven-track has one thing in common – it’s heavy, and a little bit filthy; in the best kind of ways. It also includes a cheeky feature from rhythm guitarist/bassist Nick Rossi of Born Of Osiris, but you’re getting ahead of yourself, we’ll get to ‘Pen or Sword‘ a bit later. Enough deliberation, let’s dive in.

You may have heard ‘Gutter Paint‘ before, and if you did, you probably got shell-shocked. With machine-gun blast beats and a metalcore edge, Sugar Spine enters a brand of breakdown territory, with frontal hardcore influences – particularly with raspy gutturals. Whilst lacking some sharpened production, this certainly shows some potential for a debut release.

Whilst ‘83‘ leans into that hardcore punk sound a whole lot more than the metalcore, ensuing chaotic vocals are a stream of consistency that follow on from ‘Gutter Paint‘ seamlessly. Songs like this and title track ‘Mirror Talk‘ are firming this crusty Sugar Spine sound, albeit with a clean vocal surprise at the start of the latter track. Don’t get too comfortable though as the Slayer-esque interlude with knock your boots off. Coming out of absolutely nowhere, Muncke ups the ante with this wildcard 80’s thrash element – and boy, does it work. Again, whilst production is the only downfall, it’s automatically forgiven with the notion of it being an experimental debut EP.

With ‘The Black Stag‘ continuing down the same road with similar and reorganised elements from its preceding tracks, it delivers what feels like the first big metalcore-influenced breakdown of the EP, which is astonishingly different to that of what we’ve heard so far. Don’t ease into your chair too fast though as Sugar Spine ends that one with a Napalm Death-like sudden finish.

Crusader‘ invites those double-kick drums back in for another visit to the organised chaos of Sugar Spine‘s mathcore experience. This is just another example of how varied Mirror Talk is. Actively fighting rhythm with the hyperbole of sudden shifts, this back-end track will keep you on your toes. As we continue to encroach on the final tracks of the EP, ‘Sensation‘ shows an even filthier side of Sugar Spine‘s punk melodies. The one-man-band switches the tempo towards the end of this one and delivers some tasty riffs for you to chew on in preparation for the Born Of Osiris feature to finish this bad-boy off.

It’s been a ride, but it’s not over yet. Let’s see what ‘Pen or Sword‘ has to offer with Nick Rossi. Unsurprisingly, we get some of BOO’s progressive dark side from the get-go, delivering a truly eclectic sound. Of all the features that could’ve been considered for this track, and even EP for that matter – this is possibly the coolest. Why? Because it would’ve been so obvious and expected to get a straight-up metalcore or hardcore punk legend on the track to do more of what Sugar Spine‘s already nailing, but he managed to bring something super diverse into this EP where hardcore blends in with a bit of a prog mixture, and the result is a really cool and experimental sound. By the way, don’t lose your attention before that final breakdown hits.

I stick with my promise, this EP is a fun one, and it’s worth your attention. It makes for an impressive debut EP, and as Sugar Spine‘s sound gets refined with the right investment in the right areas, I think this project could really get some legs and curiosity in different places.

Sugar Spine Mirror Talk EP Review

Sugar Spine – Mirror Talk EP tracklisting

1. Gutter Paint
2. 83
3. Mirror Talk
4. The Black Stag
5. Crusader
6. Sensation
7. Pen or Sword feat. Nick Rossi of Born Of Osiris

Rating: 7/10
Mirror Talk is out independently on April 22. Grab it here
Review by Ricky Aarons (@rickysaul90)

Suss our interview with Sugar Spine‘s Josh Muncke chatting all things Mirror Talk here

About Ricky Aarons (868 Articles)
Co-editor at Wall of Sound and self-acclaimed deathcore connoisseur. My purpose is to expose you to the best emerging breakdowns and gutturals that this planet has to offer.