Review: Ex-Dillinger Escape Plan singer Greg Puciato digs deep into his psych on Mirrorcell

Greg Puciato takes a dizzying tour through his interior world on his second solo album, Mirrorcell

Greg Puciato, Mirrorcell album art crop
(Image: © Federal Prisoner Records)

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Even before his stint as The Dillinger Escape Plan’s faeces-flinging frontman, Greg Puciato never walked a straight creative line. Stories of his 43% Burnt dual-version audition for TDEP are well- known, his output with the ever-morphing band more so. Post-Dillinger, Greg has explored metal, dark rock, electronica, collaborated with synthwave hero Carpenter Brut and is pals with Alice In Chains’ Jerry Cantrell. Fans pining for his ability to burnish violent staccato with his adenoidal silky smoothness were taken aback at his first solo album, Child Soldier: Creator Of God. Mirrorcell continues that drastic shift away from his recognisable past by placing modern twists on the dusty parts of his record collection.

On its surface, Mirrorcell seems scattered and unfocused. Closer listens, however, reveal a tapping of both Greg’s early influences and psyche. Case in point, the emotional heft explored via We’s new romantic, Gary Numan-esque strutting. Alternatively, Rainbows Underground spins a mix of doomy grunge, classic rock and latter-day TDEP choruses while All Waves To Nothing utilises the acidic sensibility of early 90s The Young Gods and Swans. The album’s dual centrepieces put on a courageous and diverse spin, with Reality Spiral shining a glow on the purgatory between Chris Cornell and Trent Reznor, and Lowered, a sumptuous duet with Code Orange’s Reba Meyers, that’s as much top-down road anthem as Nick Cave-style murder ballad.

As the title hints, Greg does much self-reflective peering on these nine songs. Lyrics flooded with first-person statements (example: All Waves To Nothing’s ‘If you wrote me a letter / If you cried to me all night / It wouldn’t make me feel better / I’m still dead to me’) strip psychological layers and have Mirrorcell acting as a vehicle for bald creative expression as well as saving our man a pile of cash on therapy.

Mirrorcell is released on Friday June 17 via Federal Prisoner Records