Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Report to the Dance Floor? Liars : Mess
I did not expect these guys to ever be part of this column but here we are. This was not what I electronic elements have always been a part of their sound , but not the totality of it. They have played real instruments . This is more like a darker version of the Faint, which I am not opposed to I just wish their were more real instruments involved here. I seriously doubted this was even the same band after the first few listens.The fuzzed out beats to the first two songs seem to bleed together to me making it seem like one song.They have captured some well made sounds, but the songwriting which has always been quirky is now a slave to the beat.
"I'm No Gold" digs them further into this dark edm style. Some of the synth passages serve almost as riffs and the vocal chants gets the job done , but this is not as experimental as their other work even with the Aphex Twin pitch shifted sampled elements that help to bring the noise."Pro Anti Anti" is the first song that really kicks in on first listen and works for me.It has an almost industrial drive to it. The fragil drone of "Can't Hear Well" is a boring laze that doesn't work as well. There is a more Faint vibe on "Mess on a Mission". The angular quirk of the melody is almost catchy. This might not be the album's best song , but it does retain large doses of their former sound, even without organic instruments.
The bubbling digital murk of the simmering "Darkslide" is reluctant to build above the percolating bleeps.It grooves like a piece of filler from the Tron Soundtrack."Boyzone" has a harsher robotic coldness. Minimal and brooding, these guys have gotten darker after abandoning their guitars for this , but even over half way through the album I am reluctant to think this is a good thing. Midway through the song the narcotic sluggishness of the vocals moans to the forefront. It almost doesn't feel like a song."Dress Walker" continues on with the robot orgy. The effected vocals are more defined and give this one the semblance of being a song. At one point the laze of the phrasing remind me of some of Becks more drugged out moments.
Their are moment that flirt with the ambient moon drone of kraut rock one of those being "Perpetual Village" . Which is really well sung and an improvement in the vocal department for these guys.The song is not grounded enough and floats away with it self. It's not until the beat around the four minute mark comes into to anchor it even as the haze of the drugs weighs the momentum down. At that point the song begins to drag.
Some real instruments seem to creep into the closer "Left Speaker Blown" this hovers in a space drone, with the vocals carrying the majority of the song.I like the mood of this one , it's like the last man on earth is gazing into the cosmos. It's a shame after hearing a song that this that the album is so hit or miss for me. I will give it a 6 and eagerly await for them to step away from the computer and bring back real instruments