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Album Review : Amongst Liars – Design

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Review by Ritchie Birnie for MPM

I recently discovered Amongst Liars via their single release Alibi so I was delighted to get a review copy of the album a long time prior to release in July and I can let you know the album is stunning. The UK five piece have knocked it out of the park and meshed numerous genres into a melting pot of brilliance.

The album kicks of with an atmospheric prelude that filters into “Ready for This?” which opens following on from the prelude before it has a huge sonic burst then settles into a demented sounding Ian George on vocals. The song is one hammer blow to the skull after another and the song is as sonically disjointed as your thoughts would be after the hammer blows have stopped raining down.

We go almost full on punk on “You Are Not a Slave” and there is a very solid comparison to Warrior Soul in the music, lyrics and attitude. The band are living and breathing that Kory Clarke fuck you attitude.

The Title track is a complete left turn to what we have heard so far, yes the intensity is there but with the soft and frantic leanings of the track mixed with James Brummeo’s keys you could be entering Linkin Park territory and I am talking early and great Park here. This is a cracking song.

“The Shameful” starts with distorted guitar from Leo Burdett and his dissected playing keeps that off kilter feel that this album is portraying. It is as if the band want to keep you on edge, unsure of your surroundings but enjoying the feeling like that long trip to the top of the first drop on a rollercoaster. Adam Oarton on drums drives the craziness as does the straight jacket guitar parts.

As if to wrap up the journey so far and to confirm where this music is aimed at the song “Mind” slows everything down like those moments of clarity in the insane moments. This is a real retrospective song that shows how strong you can be internally and like a primal scream of refusal the song soars into the skies as a huge fuck you, I will not be broken.

The keys are turned to full on in “Vice” and this harked me back to bands like Dead by April. The only thing missing is the guttural second vocals but they are not needed as Ian sets the scene perfectly and he somehow is able to sew a vocal tapestry with his voice. Once again we get the power chorus as we touch on the places hiding in our top two inches. This song is of the highest quality and one of the best songs by a young UK band.

As you would expect with a title like “No Control” this one is out there with its spat out vocals and right in your face chorus. Again you can feel the input of those key driven bands, the song building towards the angry and forceful climax.

I loved “Alibi” the moment I heard it and the sad thing (for me) was that I have reflected the lyrical content many times. The song is a catchy little bitch (unlike the obvious subject matter).

“Say” starts like a lament and Ian is singing with his accentual lilt and this adds a reality to the despair that unwinds throughout the song. This is a haunting masterpiece.

The album finishes on a ferocious note with “Wolf Machine”. The inner Kory Clarke rears its head again as it mixes the punk with the metal and comes out smiling. The musical backbone is superb, the attitude is full on and the guitar work is sublime.

Design is a serious body of work that shines whilst it takes you on a journey through warped and twisted minds. The title of the album is very fitting as I am currently re watching the TV series Hannibal and the FBI agent Will Graham breaks down all the gruesome murders in his mind and as he comes to that moment of realisation as to why the heinous crimes were done he says this is his design and like those murders Amongst Liars have showed us gory details that lurk in our darkest, most remote and private places and this…is their design.

Design track-list:

1 Prelude
Ready For This
3 You Are Not A Slave
4 By Design
The Shameful
6 Mind
7 Vice
8 No Control
10 Say
11 Wolf Machine

Pre-order Designhttps://www.amongstliars.com/shop

Amongst Liars are:
Ian George – vocals
Leo Burdett – guitars
Adam Oarton – drums
Ross Towner – bass
James Brummeo – keys

Amongst Liars online:

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