Starting over has never been an easy task, and for Equal Vision’s Liars Academy, the road to recovery has been some mountain to climb. From a career than seemed destined to be forgotten quicker than remembered, the band has gone through a transformation of sorts, one that often exposes frailties rather than character. It certainly has been a problematical ride, one that saw the band begin as a nondescript pop laced punk outfit; all but outlines their recent musical turn as a welcomed one. What appeared to have been imminent demise after releasing an EP rather short on results, Demons finally sees the band find some solid ground in which to build upon.
Taking the few bright spots from their previous releases and fusing them with the better nuances of alternative country, Liars Academy, having abandoned their pop-punk composition, now sound a great deal like Chamberlain’s long lost musical cousins. From the dusty riffs of “Saturday Night,” to the roaring Midwestern sound of “Dying As Fast As I Can,” there is no denying the band’s new found focus. And for the first time in their careers, their music sounds completely comfortable for all the parties involved. Lyrically speaking, their perception of their own follies has been given center stage. In “Microton,” they wax about making sense of the profession they have chosen. And in a way, it’s directly suggestive of their recent failures and their attempts to rectify their course; “Try to make sense out of this business / try to make sense out of anything / try to charm this bad luck life.”
Then there is the reflective grace of “Ghosts of Baltimore,” a rather introspective look at their own personalities. This, along with “Microton,” are perhaps most indicative of their new direction. Demons is about change and all the baggage that comes with adapting it. While some of it still sounds a little far fetched (the strangely Modest Mouse sounding “The Accountant” – bad, bad idea), there are far more good ideas than bad. It certainly is a long way away from being a The Moon My Saddle, or the Weakerthans’ Left and Leaving, but Liars Academy have at last done enough for listeners to stay interested past the ten minute mark.
(Equal Vision Records)