Líam – MMIX – 81%

MMIX cover art
Líam come to us from Germany and I have to be honest, I know absolutely nothing about this band. Obviously I am slacking at my job as a reviewer as I have none of their prior work. MMix is an eight track effort by the five piece band that was released on bandcamp with a note saying that these tracks were recorded three years ago and that the band will not be able to make music together due to moving away from one another, hence the release of MMix. Quite sad.

The eight tracks are not named as the band opted for the roman numeral approach. The album begins with a somber intro that later leads to an epic build up in both pace and sound. The spiraling guitar work is well textured and feels deep. In the second track there is some really excellent drumming early on that truly stands out before the wall of tremelo based static crashes into the my headphones channels.

The whole album in general feels very spacious and I find myself far more interested in the lighter side of the album rather than the heavier spiraling walls of static. The quieter moments is when the album really shines and the band shows a huge amount of creativity. For example, “III” begins with some very sensual and somber guitar work as a crescendo guitar begins what will be an extremely long build up. The amount of space between the two in the mix creates an enormous soundscape that captivates me because it feels  full of life and emotion. My biggest complaint with the heavier side of the tracks is the lack of intensity, mostly due to the way the crashing of the cymbals are completely overpowered within the mix by the guitar. One thing I do have to give Líam high praise for is their transitions between the valleys and the peaks of the album. Tracks such a “V” do a perfect job seamlessly transitioning multiple times. “VI” is my track on the album, there’s something about it that caught me as inspirational and it really stood out once the drums really took the spotlight amongst the guitar feedback.

I feel like this album is by far and away a classic Jekyll and Hyde album. I absolutely love the lighter side and don’t particularly care for the heavier side. The softer side is unique, creative and pretty while the heavier side is standard 3rd wave post-rock on the generic side. And I get that there’s only so many ways to texture multiple layers of guitar with drum rolls and cymbal crashes. However the band did show the ability to produce heavier segments of much higher quality in “VII” where the guitar just kind of thrashes about until giving way to a beautiful ending.

I respect the band for releasing this album rather than shelving it for all of eternity. For what the album is it’s a solid release. It’s a shame that the band no longer makes music with one another. Unfortunately that’s how the world works sometimes and who knows, maybe the band will get a chance to make music at some point in the future. Never say never. 7-31-12

Pay what you want on bandcamp: http://liampostrock.bandcamp.com/