Mess - MUTE
FILTER Grade: 82%
By Marty Sartini Garner on March 25, 2014
￼After 13 years and six increasingly dissimilar records, the most surprising thing Liars could possibly do would be to repeat themselves. And so they have. Mess, their seventh, unfolds within the same inky-black cyberpunk world the now-LA- based trio forged with 2012’s WIXIW; synths moan and shudder in agony, fake hands clap in perfect time, shrill organs sit down at the top of the mix and drip into the album’s gears, and it’s all tempered by the same ambiguously aimed menace that has become the group’s defining aesthetic mood. But where WIXIW was the intricately ordered product of a hundred thousand small decisions, Mess is a sloppy, outward-turned—and, it has to be said, uneven—quagmire built with the kind of swagger that dares you to use its own title against it. They made their bones on this kind of thing with 2001’s They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, but these older, wiser Liars throw better parties: Dig how they subject a pleasant-enough EDM track to a long and agonizing ravedeath in the mammoth “Perpetual Village.” They may have stopped spinning around the bat, but check out the way ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼these guys run.