Released on Sliptrick Records on Tuesday 7 February 2023.
For fans of Post Grunge, Stoner Rock and Alt Metal
Crimes is the debut album from Lieform who hail from Boise, Idaho, USA. According to their press release, “Crimes, is a new-age concept album discussing the various crimes we as people commit against each other and even ourselves. There are songs that discuss loss and hurt from crimes we commit during relationships. Some discuss the opioid epidemic, while others shed light on our military servicemen and women who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorders; both of which are crimes being committed through policy or inaction by the very systems we promote to keep us safe and healthy.”
Throughout the album, the production is bass-heavy and a little muddy in that typical sludge/stoner rock style. It doesn’t entirely detract from the enjoyment of the album, but I did find it took a little getting used to.
The album opens with “pRONE” (track 1) which features a strong, punchy riff that drives a metaphorical nail into your forehead and demands attention. The solos are wailing and emotional and the riff gently plods forcing a head nod throughout.
“Tragic life” (track 2) has a pleasing, melodic sing-a-long feel to it that rides on wave after wave of guitar chords. “Stones throw” (track 3) bounces to a mesmerising riff that reminds me of the Stone Temple Pilots but gets a little lost in the muddy mix.
“Shear” (track 4) starts subtly until guitar feedback triggers the riff equivalent of a landslide accompanied by a howling gale of growling vocals. The song then lurches through storm after storm of crushing guitars, wibbly-wobbly effects and sampled conversations.
“Landmines” (track 5) opens with a single guitar line being picked and bended over what sounds like a police radio. The bass soon joins and between bass and guitar they weave out an intertwining melody. This song has a strong stoner feel to it with long lamenting solos and a strong sense of riff.
The second half of the album, “Crimes” (track 6), opens with a rising riff and crushing guitars and vocals before settling down into a lurching riff that rises and falls in intensity. Rousing stuff.
“Coda” (track 7) begins and ends with the sound of someone putting on a vinyl record. In between is a beautifully plodding and melodic song. I don’t mean that in pejorative sense, it has a steady walking pace to it and a melody that you could get lost in.
“Facelift” (track 8) is well titled with a riff that could lift the skin off your face. “Colliding heads” (track 9) has a very melodic, acoustic guitar riff that electrifies early on. It’s on beautiful songs like this that I wish the mix was less constraining
Closing track, “Different day” (track 10) has a wonderfully stop-start feel to it, wrapped around an emotional verse and a powerfully driving riff. Along with “Shear” and “Landmines”, this is one of my favourite tracks on the album.
It took me a couple of a listens to this album to get into it. As I have said throughout, the muddied mix was certainly a part of it. But once I really got inside the songs, I could appreciate them a lot more.
This album has a dark post-grunge sludginess to it, a stoner rock vibe, steeped in melody and trudging, driving riffs. Good stuff!
Review score: 85%
GrandSounds PR contacted me inviting me to preview Lieform forthcoming album, thank you. I have no connections to either GrandSounds PR or Lieform. I’m not being paid to review this. But I did get a free digital copy of the album to review which is pretty cool. Many thanks to GrandSounds PR and to Lieform for continuing to create fresh, exciting music.