Liars – The Apple Drop

Angus Andrew returns with a tenth Liars album that's a mix of showy highs, pulpy lows, and enigmatic experiments

Album Review by Lewis Wade | 02 Aug 2021
  • Liars - The Apple Drop
Album title: The Apple Drop
Artist: Liars
Label: Mute
Release date: 6 Aug

When your whole shtick is exploring the boundaries of electronica and post-punk with a bevy of outré conceptual ideas, it's inevitably going to get a bit hit and miss after 20 years (just ask fellow iconoclasts Xiu Xiu or Deerhoof). To that end, Liars' tenth album is a spotty affair with showy highs (Sekwar, The Start), pulpy mediocrity (From What the Never Was, My Pulse to Ponder) and enigmatic experiments (Acid Crop, Leisure War).

The Start is slightly cracked and phasered, sounding like Beck circa Sea Change trapped in a wormhole, while Sekwar is King Krule by way of Alex Cameron (but with quite an incongruous vibe as it was written in 2004). Angus Andrew's low droning vocals have taken on a doomy Michael Gira-esque lilt, adding to the solemnity of songs like Slow and Turn Inward, and the touching sentimentality of Star Search.

Andrew has spoken of an “embrace of collaboration” when it comes to the arrangements, and also embracing psilocybin (and reducing his chemical dependency) recently. Both of these factors fit with the album's 'no bad ideas' feel, as well as its otherworldliness. Most fittingly, Andrews also admits “I'm realising my trajectory is more akin to a spiral” – a perfect summation of his ability to simultaneously progress and go round in circles.

Listen to: Sekwar, Slow and Turn Inward