Liars - Titles With the Word Fountain - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Liars - Titles With the Word Fountain

by Tim Sentz Rating:6 Release Date:2018-09-21
Liars - Titles With the Word Fountain
Liars - Titles With the Word Fountain

Angus Andrew has been the centerpiece for Liars since its inception at the start of the century, and over the years the lineup has whittled down to just him now as a solo act. Not without misfires, the Liars project has provided a bizarre array of sounds across multiple genres – mostly steeped in electronica and post-punk – but in recent years has faded from the critical eye. Last year’s TFCF was mostly overlooked, despite it being a better album than Mess, which was… well... a mess.

Acting as a companion piece to TFCF, Titles With the Word Fountain comes a little over a year later, which sadly continues with the hideous album art and doesn’t necessarily provide anything new. It’s admirable that Andrew is continuing despite the massive setbacks, but Titles feels like a B-side album, stitching together portions of songs that could be elaborated on further. It feels rushed, but not in the cash-grab sense, more in the “stay relevant” sense. Unfortunately, it rarely engages.

Trademark sounds are ever present throughout Titles, “Past Future Split” sounds indistinguishable from any other Liars era, which could be a good thing and a bad thing. The first single “Murdrum” is a worthwhile throwback to Drum’s Not Dead material, but the rest of Titles never comes close to touching the creative peaks Liars were known for during the 2000s. Where TFCF felt like a breakup record and offered complete thoughts, Titles feels like incomplete thoughts that are misdirected.

On the flip side, Andrew has stated that he feels Titles to be a direct sequel, given that both albums were recorded at the same time. One must wonder the result if the albums had been condensed into one complete album instead of two separate ones. The rushed delivery of Titles is also concerning, as it was only announced less than a month prior. In a time when albums are surprise released, a short release window seems either thoughtless or purposeful.

Composed of mostly less-than-2-minute blurbs, Titles doesn’t have the concrete needed to make a sidewalk stable. And while Andrew still has the atmospheric sensibilities to make his work interesting, there’s just not enough meat here to demand frequent listens. Andrew has moments of inviting lyricism though, even if they are few and far between moments like that. “Absence Blooms” showcases his lethal side, it’s just a shame it happens so late in the album after so much white space in the middle of Titles.

His penchant for dance-punk still exists, and it’s strewn across the album in tiny bits, so Titles isn’t a return to form or even a rehash of old ideas – it merely shows how directionless this project has devolved into. Titles is a frustrating listen; when you think Andrew is going to drag you kicking and screaming up the hill, he instead let’s go halfway and decides to play you some of his unused samples from TFCF.  

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