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Album Review

Lies – “Plague / Abuse” [Album Review]

With so much crust love going on in the underground these days, is there any act that can really put something out there that will really manage to stay fresh or challenge anyone anymore? Or perhaps there’s one more band to list when it comes to blistering punk with the ability to channel hatred and optimism in turn? Perhaps it’s Lies, coming out of California? Perhaps you should read the review of their latest release.



Strip the meat, leave the bones. That’s what Lies appear to be doing in this latest release, a horrific treat for fans of stripped-down hardcore and old-school d-beat. While the production manages to hearken back to yester years, when lo-fi was the only way to record, it also manages to deliver enough of a blanket sonic impression that it still feels cavernous, if at times hollow. It works in its favour, as the band’s approach requires honest production. I say this because Lies’ approach manages to sound like every idea I’ve ever wanted to have for a hardcore band ever, while managing to stay original to my mind, and furthermore capture both nihilistic and optimistic tones in equal measure.

What really shines on this release is how terrifically quick it is. Not one of the tracks goes over 2 minutes, a major boon for those that prefer their loud in the fast lane. And fast it is. The whole album doesn’t stop for breath, delivered at a blistering pace that still manages to retain identifiable ‘parts’ even on its first listen through. The vocals summon up memories of concrete basements, of singers who had nothing but desperation and the gumption to scream in their creative arsenals, while the guitar work summons up memories of bands that never saw the light of day but worshipped the d-beat and crust scenes. It’s all guided by percussive abilities that rival some of the best in punk today.

This is an angry record (bundled with bonus EP entitled Abuse from 2014), but the thing that manages to capture interest is how notably lean it all is, and is likely be the band’s biggest strength going forward. It also manages to sound as old as punk itself, while having a contemporary side that informs its more harsh sensibilities. This is a must-have for people who remember bands like Disnihil or Perth Express or Black Ships, and still crave something that summons up those moods those bands were able to create, only faster.

Plague / Abuse Track Listing:

01. Lifeless
02. White Light
03. Rot
04. Force Fed
05. Paranoia
06. Regret
07. Human Nature
08. Fear Monger
09. Smothered
10. Dead Weight
11. Alone
12. All Hail
13. Class War
14. Concrete Tomb
15. Overdose

Run Time: 20:08
Release Date: August 26, 2016

Check out the album Plague

Director of Communications @ V13. Lance Marwood is a music and entertainment writer who has been featured in both digital and print publications, including a foreword for the book "Toronto DIY: (2008-2013)" and The Continuist. He has been creating and coordinating content for V13 since 2015 (back when it was PureGrainAudio); before that he wrote and hosted a radio and online series called The Hard Stuff , featuring interviews with bands and insight into the Toronto DIY and wider hardcore punk scene. He has performed in bands and played shows alongside acts such as Expectorated Sequence, S.H.I.T., and Full of Hell.