Album Review

Liberez – “Sane Men Surround” – [Alter]

Thurston Hunger   6/12/2013   A Library, CD

UK unit with an interesting blend of This Heat meets Crescent.
Yeah I hate those DNA-tracer examples too, sorry and even that
was meant as a high form of praise. This project is its own
beast, slouching towards the industrial hearts and jaded ears
of many a KFJC listener. Pure noise, impure rock, airport paging
vocals, spiky violin. Just tremendous, especially in sitting
through it whole, (as opposed to us radio types isolating tracks)
the sequencing is stellar. The leadoff track “Nema Te” has a
muffled/maxxed out sing-song from Nina Bostic, the lullabye
gets delayed and then displaced into a musique concrete
parking garage. Better than EVP since it’s real. That triggers
“A Warning” where a synth siren oscillates in the space left
by Bostic, and deep thrumblings and a hint of strings set the
stage for more “vocals” (really a chant, or pre-recorded
alarm message) as the sound stirs up, gunfire percussion
has a party in the re-militarized zone. But John Hannon is
smart enough to let a drone float in and thru, dynamics are
a key throughout the album. Evidently he’s a recording
engineer, but here is a great example of the mixer as
instrument. Rounding out the quartet are Peter Wilkins, a
longtime collaborator and also guitarist and other-items-ist
Tom James Scott. Guess he’s the violin that flecks in (rides
the crushing star of “What’s Mine is Mine” for example).
Plenty of challenging moments (“My Madness Offends” cycles
staccato static bursts, Scott pizzicato prances underneath
it) but even more rewarding moments. Good news this is their
*second* release, better news if there is plenty more to come.
From the very first till now, this remains an exciting
sound escape.
-Thurston Hunger

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