If you like Shadow the Hedgehog and getting wild to sleazy electro-punk music, do I have the album for you. The Garden is the name under which twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears dress up as jesters and sleaze around in sleepy southern Californian towns (see their music videos linked below). Their new album Mirror Might Steal Your Charm makes the spooky synthesizer sounds from the Time Splitters cabinet at the arcade in your local laser tag arena into a series of unique electro-punk tunes overflowing with personality. Mirror Might Steal Your Charm is a card reading from a cheat deck of playing cards. Its tricky and ambiguous, but still may provide you with some sort of meaning whether intended or not, long as you are open to that as a possibility.
I know what you’re thinking – “But why Shadow the Hedgehog?” Bear with me. Shadow the Hedgehog is a video game character from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe who is presented as a foil to Sonic – Shadow is morally questionable and obsessed with revenge. He acts as a medium between good and evil as he embodies a bit of both. The Garden is they same. The band acts as a medium between two forces as well – punk music and electronic music. If punk music is the side of morally righteous Sonic and the animals, and electronic music is the side of evil Dr. Eggman and his robots, then The Garden is Shadow the Hedgehog, the anti-hero.
I know I sound like I’m going off the deep end. So, I’ll try to reel you back into my Shadow the Hedgehog comparison one last time and then move on. A panel of SEGA executives designed Shadow to embody 2000s era edginess in its purest form. If he were a human he would wear JNCO jeans, Oakley sunglasses, and a backwards baseball cap, and listen to Limp Bizkit and Korn. The Garden channels this aesthetic with the same mix of irony and nostalgia that brought denim jackets from the 1980s into the 2010s. They bring the seemingly expired and uncool back into palatability with the help of a little self-awareness.
Self-awareness is The Garden’s strong suit (pardon the playing card pun). Their music is without a doubt confrontational and aggressive, but The Garden still manages to sprinkle in bits of wisdom like on the track “A Message for Myself” where they close the with the following line: “Because in the end, everyone has problems // And life tries to teach you something // No matter how many times you’ve lived // So keep in mind that everyone is equal // Nothing you do makes you more human than anyone else.” As sleazy as they may seem, the Fletcher twins are keeping an eye out for you and making sure you know that you’re great just the way you are.
Nick Amerkhanian (The Corpse King)