Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Little Blurbs

Liars - Liars
(Mute, 2007)
Score: 69.0%
Liars - "What Would They Know" (mp3)

Okay, I'll admit that I might not be the best person reviewing this album. I've never been a huge fan of the band, and because of that it was hard for me to have a positive outlook before listening and reviewing this album - I can admit that too. While Liars does have some pretty good songs on it, the album as a whole is too indebted to many other albums, particularly Psychocandy, to stand out among the rest of the catalog. While I can't argue that Liars don't do the Psychocandy sound justice, they honestly do, part of me wonders why I should bother listening to this album when I could just listen to Psychocandy.

Actually, I should also admit that only half the album really takes after the Jesus and Mary Chain classic, but the fact that I'm still only remembering this album as "the one that ripped off Jesus and Mary Chain" after several listens is not a good sign that I might come around in the future. However, it should be noted that my personal favorite track, "Sailing to Byzantium", sounds more like a slower Faint song with a falsetto than anything remotely close to shoegaze, and that another strong track, the fierce opening song "Plater Casts of Everything", is a straight forward rock song that would probably make Iggy Pop smile. But most of the songs, no matter their influence, sound like they are in need of a spark, a little bit of excitement of some kind. Aside from the few standout tracks, the album feels like its just coasting by.

Angels of Light - We Are Him
(Young God, 2007)
Score: 73.8%
Angels of Light - "Joseph's Song" (mp3)

The Angels of Light's most recent album was a difficult listen. Its not especially challenging or polarizing, though at times it can be uncompromising. No, it was a difficult listen because of how irritatingly inconsistent it was. And yet it still gets a pretty good score, hence the irritating part. I was irritated because I really wanted to, and at times did, love this album. But head Angel Michael Gira didn't write this record with me in mind, I'm sure. Regardless, I'll take the album as it is, with both its ups and downs, because the result is still worthwhile. Those who enjoyed the Angels' split with Akron/Family will probably appreciate the album's more alt/country leanings (guilty as charged!), though the best tracks tend to cross pollinate, notably "Sometimes I Dream I'm Hurting You", which throws in a little Velvet Underground, and the album's opening track, "Black River Song," which sounds like Battles if they were fronted by Mark E. Smith. This album looks to be a grower in the coming months.

1 comment:

The Moon said...

If you think that the Liars are trying to sound like the Jesus and Marry Chain you're obviously missing something?!?! Actually I might even have to wonder if you've been listening to the same albums as the rest of us? While I might have to yield the fact that the Liars dark nature and tribal influence make them less than accessible to mass audience, they have continuously broken new ground through-out their career. Though the use of obtuse subject mater, torturous chants, primal drum patterns, and sonic experimentation the new album does no less.

Long live the Drum Fux!