wed 22/11/2017

CD: Liars - TFCF | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Liars - TFCF

CD: Liars - TFCF

Liars’ new direction revealed in Angus Andrew's wonderfully fragmented solo project

'TFCF - A uniquely strange album'

Across their 17-year career, Liars have become renowned for both their genre-jumping and for making good music wherever their stylistic tent is pitched. With founding member Aaron Hemphill leaving the Los Angeles band on amicable terms earlier this year, sole Liar Angus Andrew was left with the task of maintaining their momentum, and with TFCF, he’s made a uniquely strange album that encompasses this stripped-down band in both its music and its production.

Making almost unprecedented use of the acoustic guitar throughout, TFCF feels rawer and more intimate than their previous album, the dance-punk mammoth MESS. Opening track “The Grand Delusional” in particular marries Andrew’s voice (which veers between the gravelly and dramatic) with scattered trip-hop beats in a beautifully despondent manner. This is a somewhat disorientating way to open a Liars album – even more so when the Mariachi-tinged “Cliché Suite” marches in immediately after.

The twisted tenderness of the album makes itself abundantly clear on the waltzing ballad “No Help Pamphlet” and “Emblems of Another Story”, which draws on baroque-pop and post-rock in equal measure. The album peaks on “No Tree No Branch”, a demented piano-based romp, chock-full of sudden pauses and starts which unsettles the listener. It’s utterly bizarre and utterly brilliant.

Andrew’s voice is extremely versatile throughout, calling to mind Scott Walker, Iggy Pop, Sufjan Stevens and Ghostpoet at various points, although the discernible lyrics seem to focus overwhelmingly on regret, violence and heartache. The swampy music, abrupt changes in tone and jarring instrumentation also ensure that TFCF is not an easy listen. Whilst putting it on repeat unveils more of its touching and subtle side, the discord that runs throughout the album never fully recedes; the more I listen to TFCF, however, the more I think this abrasiveness adds to Liars’ rough charm.

The swampy music, abrupt changes in tone and jarring instrumentation also ensure that 'TFCF' is not an easy listen

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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