Just before Last Call Entertainment’s BJ’s Fest 2022, the now repurposed Eerie Shores Instagram posted a cryptic announcement. The dive-bar event would be the band’s final performance under their original SUNY Fredonia-born title. A following series of posts transitioned the band’s beloved moniker to a new name, MIMIC.

With Eerie Shores in the rearview, “The Longest Road,” is a refreshing introduction to A Thief, Not a Liar. The winding acoustic heartwarmer steers into an EP-defining riff.

The dramatic debut single, “Careless,” meets deep-seated anxieties with a relentlessly optimistic attitude. Normalizing this way of thinking, the band says that the song is about “finding happiness in areas of negativity; literally seeing rain and walking into it with a smile.” The music video, shot and edited by Brett Ballachino, reinforces these themes. The lead singer, Alex Vasiloff, finds relief from daily stress by making time for friendship. The gang take the wheel, zipping around a go-kart raceway in Hamburg (RIP James’ Hat). Although the bass player, the aforementioned James Sprecker, is pictured here, he has recently parted ways with the band. It seems their friendship remains, as his leaving is jokingly referenced in their album release show announcement.

“Cover Me,” an Eerie Shores re-release, hits harder than ever, both in sound and meaning. The EP’s themes of identity coalign with the name change and this track’s text. Lyrics referencing “a new sound” continue to resonate with the group’s transformative arc.

MIMIC plays blood pumping alt-rock with a sleek sparkle on the following track, “Morals.” The song sheds metallic grit for a polished pop rock sheen that makes the rebrand all the more worth it. A starry chorus is the group’s catchiest yet, and just as you think the melodic excitement is over, a lively confetti-burst guitar solo keeps the energy going.

A simple name change can’t reign in these bold gents. “Medicine Man” brandishes heavy-as-ever riffs. Unlike some of the darker Eerie Shores subject matter (see our previous feature on Wicked Disposal), “Medicine Man” is a consoling alt-metal ripper that finds healing in loud sounds.

A song-rupturing feature from Michael Fedczuk, Buffalo metalcore band, Pale Hell’s lead singer, strikes anguish where it stands. The peer songwriter pens lyrics about relinquishing self-pity by recognizing a wider perspective. The verse characterizes MIMIC’s themes of self-discovery and change:

“Call in the code
Try to explain how I simply unfold
Completely alone
And then while I spend my time
Feeling sorry for myself
Extended arms came rushing in
To show me how I’m no different
A path full of work through my common trends
Now guiding me through the worst of it”​​

Lyrical themes climax on the EP’s outro, “The Fear.” In this ballad’s deeply-personal, cry-underneath-your-covers midpoint, the lead singer, Alex Vasiloff is affected by indisputable cycles of life. He is vulnerable, admitting to long-running anxieties while repeating the universal line “And the fear sets in.” The singer completes the Hero’s Journey by climbing out of this dire mood. He simply asks “What about love?” A dramatic fireworks-ending indicates a bright approval from the band, their audience, and the lighter world around them. “The Fear” is in reference to the fear of self, as MIMIC proves mindset is key when facing adversity.

The self-proclaimed “arena basement rock” band writes stadium anthems for intimate DIY venues, a distinctive balance between wide appeal and personal relatability. With a thematic project as complete as this one, it seems MIMIC can only grow from here, taking longer strides and filling bigger spaces each step of the way.

Stream A Thief, Not A Liar. on Spotify or Apple Music.