It might not set the right mood if you’re trying to concentrate, exit depression or avoid contemplating suicide, but the Liars’ Drums Not Dead is a shining example of atmospheric rock that’s infinitely more swallowable than many other records in its genre. The band’s last effort, They Were Wrong So We Drown, was the Liars’ first and somewhat feeble attempt to capture the sound the band fully realizes with the new album. Ominous and thickly textured soundscapes, although they’re not exactly predictable, are logical in their meandering path.
It’s usually better to err on the side of too much complexity in the screamo genre, but Moneen’s latest effort is a bit too chaotic and overly layered to maintain any significant level of cohesion. That’s not to say intricacy and cohesion can’t ever reach a happy medium (see screamo outfit Matchbook Romance’s Voices) but, in this case, showcasing the band’s technical skill seems to have taken a larger slice of the album’s sonic pie than it may be entitled to.
Lake of Falcons’ eponymously titled debut release is either some of the most forceful and gritty guitar rock out there or some of the most experimental and unencumbered post-hardcore I’ve ever heard. Either way you look at it, the power trio is right at home hovering between indie and punk, never venturing too far into the grips of either genre. The growling vocals on tracks like “Panopticon” are tempered by the soft cooing on songs like “A Bus for Runners,” and both vocal styles are at their best when seamlessly combined on tracks like the uniquely exultant “Pushpins.”