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Lying In States
Most Every Night
Flameshovel Records

If Hot Hot Heat had a thicker punk pedigree and a more circuitous skew on the dance floor, they might be able to pull off the vertiginous onslaught of Lying In States. If Lying In States make you dance, it's more involuntary, like you're dodging the sharp, heavy riffs dug in deep into the songs' skin. More Sonic Youth than Gang Of Four, Lying In States deliver a dirgey rock album, adamantly fierce and eminently addictive.

"Fall Or Stumble" sounds like the crackling vocals are being delivered on a bad cell phone conversation on top of thumping keyboard and guitar that winds like razor wire around Ben Clarke's voice. "We" switches up their sound entirely, taking on alt country to mediocre effect, a solid track for Cub Country, a shitty one for Wilco, a pointless one for this record. Other stretches make more sense, such as "Fat Hawk" where the tempo and guitar work get sludged up in a mire of stop-start guitar where the drums and the vocals dialogue in the song's pauses. It's one of the most fitfully haunting ballads I've ever heard. It's also one of the highlights where they display the ability to have a range without sacrificing sonic coherence. "Know It All" sounds like The Cult filtered through a sliver of Rolling Stones honky tonk, a song that still remains there own in fist pounded piano and slabs of guitar noise that cut in any time melody threatens to rest on its laurels.

It's impossible not to hear this record and be forced to find several ways in which to convey the word "tight", since that trait dominates nearly every track and defines the albums jaggedly controlled aesthetic. Even when singer, Ben Clarke, is squelching out his vocals, with the telltale agony lacing straight from Robert Smith, he does so with a fury-infused restraint. The guitar work has "angular" scribbled all over it, except that it's always perilously close to breaking through complex and contrary riffs through sheer intensity and volume. Some might find their grip claustrophobic, but I find the white-knuckled punch like having them amps plugged right into my jaws and legs, a glorious bypass of tension and energy. Most Every Night is a shamefully overlooked record by a band too unkempt, unruly and ballsy to bother with passing trends and thin-skinned postures.

-Terry Sawyer

Track Listing:

1. Most Every Night
2. Fall Or Stumble
3. Vie Capital Ponk
4. Return Of The Cornea
5. We
6. Tackle Me I'm On Fire
7. Know It All
8. Fat Hawk
9. Yep
10. Hot Mountain
11. In All Of Christendom

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