Liars: Mess (Mute) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Liars

Mess

Mute

Mar 24, 2014 Issue #49 - February/March 2014 - Portlandia Bookmark and Share


God bless Liars. While virtually everyone in the avant rock class of the Aughts (that loosely started with Yeah Yeah Yeahs and ended with HEALTH) either cleaned up their acts and graduated or just dropped out, Liars are streaking the graduation ceremony with booze on their breaths and middle fingers in the air. And yet the kind of envelope-pushing on Mess is nothing if not mature, simultaneously punk as fuck and utterly refined.

Maintaining their trajectory of disdaining acoustic instruments in favor of electronics, there may not be a non-synthetic sound on Mess. But whereas 2012's WIXIW was also heavily electronic, it often sounded like a power trio experimenting, still sounding like three dudes jamming with machinesMess is nigh-on cyborgian in its assimilation of electronics.

Things burst from the gates propulsive and profane with opener "Mask Maker" and rarely slow down from thereon. If "Mask Maker"'s effed-up narcotic beats and fat synth chords sound more fun than a Liars song should, "Vox Tuned D.E.D." brings the familiar melancholy in spades, a detuned John Carpenter-esque riff driving toward a chorus of lush synthetic strings that make Angus Andrews' android-son-of-Nick-Cave sermons sound like futuristic devotional hymns. Indeed, this record mightn't sound out of place in some apocryphal dance club scene from Blade Runner.

"Pro Anti Anti" is the penultimate propulsive dance track before we reach something resembling a breather, the still-deeply-skewed,

"Can't Hear Well." First single "Mess on a Mission" brings the momentum back with a heavy hook before the album downshifts into a more introspective second half, astute sequencing after a full side of bangers. The nearly-20-minute closing suite of the textural "Perpetual Village" into the narcoleptic "Left Speaker Blown" are the soundtrack to an armada spent, battle-scarred and in need of rest. If it seems inappropriate to frame Liars as pranksters when the emotions they elicit are as serious as cancer, Mess asserts that their greatness comes from both sides of that coin. (www.liarsliarsliars.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

Rate this album
Average reader rating: 8/10



Comments

Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published

URL

Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.