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Liars, Mess (Mute)





Can the favoured house style of your record label eventually submerge into your sound? Mess is the most "Mute" record Liars have released: with its throbbing electro assault, krautrock beats and rave-tent repetitions, it's as if the New York trio are squeezing themselves into a selfie alongside Laibach, Maps, Recoil and Depeche Mode. While at times it retains similarities to the electronic soundscapes of predecessor WIXIW (although there were regular glimpses of Radiohead on that album), it's very different from the UK post-punk meets US post-hardcore Venn diagrams of their earlier output. Mess is, perhaps surprisingly, the band's most approachable album, their most unified collection of songs. And songs they are, with attractive melodies breaking through the most rigid of structures, where others would content themselves with growling vocals and pounding rhythms. Yet again Liars have found a new musical path, but mapped it quickly out in their own distinctive hand.

Alan Morrison

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