No lie, you’ll be on edge
Disclaimer: this review is penned without having seen the film for which this soundtrack was written; this is simply a review of the album on its own.
Most everyone has imagined a version of a post-apocalyptic world, whether or not it is directly inspired by something from the movies; the desolate terrain, grays and browns instead of blues and greens, life hanging on by a thread. Less prevalent are the sounds that accompany the wasteland that we all see, but it’s just not something people really think about. Well, there’s no need to start thinking. The soundtrack to the film 1/1, by Liars, steps up and adds sounds to the page after the apocalypse.
While there is not much of an arch to the album, it opens well. “No Now Not Your Face” is trippy—trippy in such a way that those dropping acid should be cautioned against listening to it until they’ve come down. That said, it makes sense when starting a second listen-through. It almost stretches the full length of the offbeat rubber band that is this album, leaving any oddness in the following 14 tracks to be somewhat expected. A large chunk of these tunes sound like someone is preparing for something and/or like the noise you see after the Quidditch World Cup is attacked by Death Eaters. Here and there, other pictures are formed, and other laboratory-devised styles are displayed. Track two, “Cottagevej,” is a glitchy polka made by and for humanoids—end of story. “Gesta Danorum” sounds like some alien creature is several bites into its midnight snack, and “Liquorice” is the perfect sonic backdrop for two robots who started in the club but then ended up fighting, a very common situation as we all know.
“Shitraver” milks its three-note motif as it echoes through the halls of the underground castle at which it is played on loop, and “Beyond,” the closer, has a hint of joy among its disaster-is-coming vibes—a dosage of just the right size that it makes the whole song unsettling, like AIs that look too much like humans. Right before the intentional discomfort, we find “Finger Plans,” the best track of the album. It doesn’t attempt to be too flashy. Instead, it rests easy knowing its chords are beautiful. It’s a simple, subtle highlight track.
At its default state, we gain understanding of what life following trauma is really like, and frankly, it’s not always going to be interesting. It won’t be atop any Album of the Year lists, but 1/1 effectively keeps listeners on edge with the occasional frantic peaks. Follow this one up with something classic.