ALBUM OF THE WEEK

The highly anticipated Mess by experimental outfit Liars is exactly that – a beautifully coherent pile of sound.

 

They say you should never judge an album by its cover art, but with a sound that is layered, colourful and grungy, this one hits the nail on the, er, head. Notorious for switching up their sound with every release, fans are never quite sure what to expect from Liars. Their last LP, WIXIW (2012) was a sharp turn towards heavy, industrial-strength electronica, and Mess picks up almost exactly where it left off. 

 

Gritty, intricate synths are pitted against dissonant falsettos, the result falling somewhere between Radiohead and Death Grips. Opening number ‘Mask Maker’ starts with the sample, “Smell my socks / Eat my face off,” which is as weird as it is wonderful. The immediately immersive ‘Pro Anti Anti’ brims with a dark, pulsing rhythm and Laibach-esque vocals. 

 

Single ‘Mess On A Mission’ is the most upbeat cut from the LP. With glitchy synths, plenty of bleeps and a catchy hook, it is as close to a dance track as Liars get. Not quite a banger, but danceable, in a robotic, industrial-disco way. 

 

Though an acquired taste, Mess is an album to get immersed in, and it only grows more and more intriguing on repeat listens.

 

4.5/5

 

Mess is out now through Mute/ Create/Control.

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