Liars – The Apple Drop – Album Review
by Killian Laher
American band Liars are back with their first album in four years, a collection of nervous, jittery post-punk. Not just any standard collection, here we get really strong jittery post-punk songs, particularly the first five. It opens with the slow, brooding The Start, featuring a slow drawled vocal from Angus Andrew, conjuring up the nihilistic cool of late 80s/early 90s Thurston Moore. The darkly lethargic Slow And Turn Inward sounds very much as a song with that title should sound, full of sluggish ennui. The pace picks up for Sekway, bursting with nervous energy, combining jerky beats and warped bass with clear, jagged guitar lines overlaid with electronics.
The foreboding yet anthemic Big Appetite is again really strong, you’ll want to turn this up loud. From What The Never Was is downbeat and gloriously moody, building up gradually to a soaring conclusion. From here it’s a bit of a mixed bag. On the plodding Star Search they begin to lose their way, especially when Andrew’s falsetto enters the mix. The rollicking My Pulse To Ponder picks things back up, spindly guitar lines anchored by insistent post-punk drumming.
Later we get the aloof, downbeat ballad King of the Crooks, and the borderline ambient Acid Crop, the latter offering shades of David Bowie in a moodier moment. It ends with the weird chanting of New Planets New Undoings, a baffling yet intriguing track.
It’s definitely a soundtrack to these alienated, uncertain times. On the face of it, something like this shouldn’t make you feel better but music like this can also act as a comfort, the nervous, restless sound throughout the album reflecting our current existence.