Tenebrous Liar – End of the Road
Since NME photographer Steve Gullick formed Tenebrous Liar in 2006, they’ve racked up an improbable seven LPs of roughly-hewn, heart-on-sleeve grungy rock. As that output rate suggests, Gullick has always prioritised immediacy over detail. End of the Road shifts between grinding stoner numbers (Erase the Days), in which heavily overdriven bass almost obliterates the other elements, and tortured, smoky ballads (see the title track); but despite its dynamic variations, there’s a simplicity about Gullick’s songwriting that soon feels familiar.
While the directness of these songs does make them disarmingly passionate, it also serves to expose their somewhat formulaic feel, and the lack of nuance in Tenebrous Liar’s palette. It’s clear on the more ambitious tracks, like the nine-minute Queens of the Stone Age-esque Sleep, that End of the Road does aspire to something more complex than raw, punkish authenticity; yet it never really succeeds in rising above its influences.