Atmospheric punk-rock and electronica
In their explosive new record, The Apple Drop, Liars creates an atmospheric sound with powerful lyricism and creative instrumentation. The band shows no sign of stopping their musical prowess, creating a record cinematic in its production quality. Even those that might not enjoy punk can find true talent in this, creating one of their strongest albums to date.
The opening track, aptly called “The Start,” ignites a signature punk-rock sound combined with electronic elements. Loud and droning, Angus Andrew leads the song to a more powerful effect. Combined with the choral odes in the bridge, the influences of early punk are clear. In a brooding soundscape, the electronic beats pulse within to create a sound clearly their own. It is a distinct pulse that truly sets the bar without drifting too far away from their roots.
“Big Appetite” follows in its footsteps. Atmospheric tracks dominate this record, creating a place in which the hopelessness of desire festers. Despite what might be easier listening (compared to much of the heavy rock instrumentals that have been popular this year), the lyricism is absolutely magnificent. In a few words, Liars portrays the failure of a relationship with brutal honesty. A repetitive melody further enhances the addictive nature of toxicity, really diving into the ideas they are exploring throughout the record.
A notable highlight is within the song “From What the Never Was,” which is more akin to a ballad than any other song on the album. The vocal registers get more experimental here, creating a more textured track. It is these lyrics that poetically describe how one chooses destructive tendencies with another. Its guitar work swells in what is truly a highlight of The Apple Drop. If one song were to truly define their newest work, it would be this, which shows the experimentation and focus that truly pays off.
Perhaps the most experimental track is “My Pulse to Ponder,” with its distorted vocals creating a dismal, grisly chorus. The verses are classic rock-sounding, with a more modern emphasis on heavy drum work. Record skips and electronic pulses create a sense of chaos that bridges the chorus. Denser than other tracks on the album, the cacophony of various elements creates the artistry that is outlined throughout the album. The song acts as a sort of bridge, possibly alluding to more work like it in the future. It sounds undeniably new, so to see where that will take them in the future is truly exciting.
To close out the album, Liars uses the track “New Planets New Undoings” to show the best of electronica and rock music. With remixed piano riffs, autotune creates an interesting, albeit unsettling, melody. The ringing guitar and rolling drums progressively drift off into entropy, with instrumentals taking over. Indecipherable lyrics ring over the rest to create a truly fascinating end, leading one to want more of their more instrumental-driven work. While the lyricism is fantastic in The Apple Drop, it promises more versatility in upcoming projects.