Release Date: August 12, 2016
The trio of Brittany West, Ashlee Luk and Kati J do anything but let their foot off the gas on their second full-length album. If anything they press the pedal even further to the metal over the course of nine blistering rippers. Their attitude and vibe may be post-punk (almost goth, in fact) but their energy is pure punk, fuelled by angry indignation at society’s stupidity in regards to the likes of misogyny, privilege and greed.
The lead-off track “Pride” (which follows up on themes explored on their debut ‘Consent’) gives you a good sense of what Lié are about. West kicks things off with rubbery but muscular bass, soon to be joined by the vocals that drip with scorn. At the words, “Let me hear you scream his name”, the ominous lead guitar breaks in. Shortly after the drummer joins the party the tempo abruptly shifts and the trio burst into full pogo-pace, with West and Luk engaging in an almost-yelled call-and-response. Punk/hardcore/post-punk, call it whatever you will, but it just doesn’t get any better than this. And that’s just the opener.
Elsewhere Lié maintain the manic excitement, and even increase the pace at times (e.g. on “Truth” and “Monumental”, where Kati J brutally pummels her equipment). If one had to pick a highlight (a difficult task) then a good contender would be “I Am”. The band starts things off a little differently with some noise drone from Luk. West then picks up the rhythm with a mournful bass line. At first, the vocals are shoegazey and psychedelic, but they eventually erupt with a yell as the song speeds up and lunges forward with a frenzy.
Lié are topical and smart in their social commentary, giving them a major leg-up on any competition in the Canadian punk scene. Not that they need any advantage — their ability to adroitly walk that line between cataclysmic mayhem and disciplined musicianship puts them at the forefront in any case.