Liars are back. After a three year absence the off-kilter group return with a new footprint in their skewed journey in dark experimental lands. This time, with eleven-track TFCF, the band couple their line up upheaval with a revolutionised sound - one which smears the line between acoustic and electronic.
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There's a Liars album for pretty much everyone in the world and every occasion. The band veers over so many styles of music that if you don't like one then you can be pretty sure that down the line there'll be one you like.
So initial thoughts would be that this is kind of their R&B album.Not that it sounds like R&B in any sense whatsoever. Angus Andrew has been left alone to complete the record (hence the ditched bride photo op) and so we are lacking the 'band dynamics' of before. Instead we get get a often beat less sprawl of guitars and synths and weird noises that is indeed difficult but no more unlistenable than say Beck at his most experimental. By coming in from the cold of post punk and generally clattery music Angus ensures that this always has edge. Though it's intimate and confessional it sits right in front of your face and challenges you to get through it. How you are rewarded is in a rich seam of pulsating electronica. 'No Help Pamphlet' is the record at it's poppiest a sort of dirty and unearthed take on white boy beat music. That this is followed by the aboriginal drone of 'Face to Face with My Face' is surely no accident. The album wants to catch you off guard but Andrew always ensures you have something to listen to. This could be field records and strange droned sounds, slowed down voices or on 'Emblems of Another Story' a slow build slog veering between slow harpsichord chords and some swirling grinding sound. It bursts into a chorus that truly disarms in that it's almost anthemic.
Liars never ever cease to surprise - the reason that they are so successful is that they are simply an open book. They try everything...and it often works and as we know from the music of Brian Eno there is nothing better than art rockers trying to write pop songs. If you only try one track check out 'No Tree No Branch' - that will lead you in but the album is full of that kind of off kilter brilliance.
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