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History is littered with artists who vacate comfort to embrace the unknown. Whether it's the barren sugar factories of Williamsburg, the swallowing catharsis of Berlin in the mid-2000s, or the sharp mystique of Los Angeles' open roads, Liars are a group who, in the past, have lived by the law of finding inspiration in different habitats. However, this new record sees a change in thesis for the three-piece. This collection has been written on the road, and is part of an effort to "get back in to the effort of writing music for the sake of it, and not really having to designate it." Liars, inspired by the lack of ground beneath their feet, have tried to capture the Mess of the nomadic spirit.

Angus Andrew's falsetto croons aren't waiting beyond 'Mask Maker's' front door, but instead an automated message sounds: "Take my pants off, use my socks, smell my socks, eat my face off," shortly followed by the handshake of a stuttered synthesiser motif and a shuddering four to the floor electronic beat. It is somewhat reminiscent of WIXIW's mantra, 'Brats', but not wholly indicative of what's to come.

People may well compare Mess to WIXIW as aesthetically it is, for the most part, also an electronic record. However, they are extremely different: whilst WIXIW possessed great entangling structures and overarching themes in texture that unified the whole album, Mess is constructed by linear development and an amalgamation of repetitive motifs. This feels like the closest the group have come to their post-punk basis since their 2006 album, Drum's Not Dead. Songs like 'Pro Anti Anti' and 'Vox Tuned D.E.D.' are based on beastlike performance, yet uncharacteristically possess no desire to be anthemic. In a modernist post-punk fashion, they're practically experimental pieces, but each interaction and movement is so diverse that the pieces lack a stylistic unity.

2007's Liars was obsessed with animalistic aggression and bludgeoning meltdowns of noise, They were wrong so we drowned exists as a form of rebellion against punk, shaking the tightrope between chaos and order, but it is the essence of migratory randomness that is embraced throughout Mess. It is a genuine ambition of the piece: "Here, I won the war chasing/You, half of the way back through time." This is the most eclectic record that the trio has made - not the most diverse - but the least focused. There are fewer moments of reflective space or silence, which creates rather a peculiar proximity for Andrew, Hemphill and Gross to manoeuvre within. Whilst you'd expect the 'Darkslide' instrumental to offer solace, it represents an archetype of intensity. Similarly, the hollow polyphonic timbres, warbling of Hammond organ and transfixing choruses of 'I'm No Gold' flutter significantly between suffocating and triumphant. This makes the album difficult to contextualise or date in terms of their former work.

Ravaged by dissonance and absurd, grandiose power, leading single 'Mess On A Mission' is insistent in character. Whether it's the battering waves of Andrew's multi-layered chant "Facts are facts and fiction's fiction" or the background clattering of wooden furniture being strewn about, this stressful and stunning piece is defined by a slew of distinctive nuances, with the most infectious and immediate being the cynical reprieve "Trash the book the film's half based on."

Mess's unifying element lies within a perpetual conflict between conformity and escapism in the lyrical rhetoric. The musical content is a microcosm representative of the abstract and impossibly random nature of society, whilst the lyrics narrate bleakly from the surreal perspective of a majority who are utterly disgusted by the cyclical, unnatural traits of modern civilisation: "I've heard the wild world is wicked and the modern one is out for blood." Mess is trying not to accept your helplessness in society, even when you're aware that your situation is completely out of your hands: 'Perpetual Village' embodies this sentiment perfectly. Take these two stanzas from the composition: "If I could see what couldn't be I know I wouldn't run / No I won't, I won't / Time it speeds into itself, I've known it all along / I'm so old, I am old / Endlessly monotony dulls all alternatives/ Life is long, way too long" and "I will clear a path / I will leave a path / This kind disease won't kill me yet / The chimes will ring with or without wind / Make light of me, a laugh or speech / A longer line, to feed my pride," and therein lies the struggle throughout the album, captured in what is, frankly, a masterpiece.

On the subject of the influence that setting has on art, Charles Bukowski once snarled "air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it, and don't create anything," however, Liars have illustrated in 2014 that they can't escape the burden of their surroundings. And uniquely with Mess, they've instead dealt with the most colossal environment, making a grander statement about the aphotic bleakness of society in the process. Toward the end of the record, Andrew asks the question "is there no better place to die?" and doesn't receive a response but rather a command: "say the word die."