Primitively gnashing noise can, on occasion, be punk’s greatest bedfellow. This is one of those occasions.
I TELL LIES are as frightening loud as some of Hardcore’s most frighteningly loud exports. Fans of Philadelphia’s Soul Glo are particularly to take note.
But the parallels extend further. The overtly British accent of Future of the Left and the no-nonsense instrumental bashing of The Chats are also present. It’s commendably audacious for a band as freshly conceived as I TELL LIES to be this upfront with their sound.
And their new EP epitomises this directness. ‘Screen Time’ alternates between callous, throat-damaging screams and half-spoken verses. ‘All I fucking see is you, alive, worshiping your screen’ they yelp in what appears to be a track about screen addiction.
That’s a hard sell but the vocals and guitars are so scuzzy, it’s unlikely many listeners will note the lyrics underneath the musical descent into barbarism.
‘Back-Alley Barn Dance’ is the more nuanced track – although use that term loosely. Riffs pull from the instrument’s extremities as vocals soar to unimaginably weird realms. Creepy laughs, odd embellishments, and a northern man shouting ‘back-alley barn dance’ are all ingredients.
Then there’s the song’s conclusion. A howling, cold, and demonic laugh. It sums it up. Weird, jubilantly loud, and in a state of constant morphing, I TELL LIES are capricious. They strike a deal with their listeners. Do you want things to be deafening? Chaotic? Disturbed? Answer yes and I TELL LIES are near faultless in executing this devastating blend.