Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Alexei Crawley // Liars EP - Review

Alexei Crawley has been working on his debut solo EP outside of Abodes for around six months now. I had the unexpected privilege of receiving a preview link from Alexei a couple of weeks ago - having been a rather public fan of his work - and have been listening to the EP for a while now.

The first track starts of unexpectedly. Adding keys to the mix adds another layer to the music, making the mix deeper and helps definitely with the lack, for the most part, of drums. The chorus is catchy, and nothing like the recent collection of "Stay With Me" lyric inclusive tracks. The harmonies are a bold choice. Often broadening and thickening the vocals like adding chorus to guitar, and at times doing what chorus can do to a guitar and sounding like half a step down or out of tune, but it is simply another little touch among many on the EP. The riff that comes in later in the song glides between the left and right channels of your speakers, and whilst it could be argued to be too harsh of a tremelo, it doesnt matter. It adds once more to the song, variety that often is missing in first efforts.

The second track, previously previewed live and in demo form, starts of with a slow build up before the acoustic kicks in. Production values are high here, with echospheric (sorry, who uses that word?) sounds in the slow build up before the acoustic kicks in. More upbeat than the last one, despite the subject matter - which is another positive point for the album. The lyrics are woven and do not sound formulaic in structure or choice. Repetition is a theme on the album, in a good way, and is triumphant again once more. I can't quite pin the guitar that comes in later in the song - is it reverse reverb, or just high overdrive? Whatever it is, it sounds all rather lovely.

The two tracks that follow display yet more variety to fill your cheeks with, and catchy low volumed lines. Very much suicide inducing if you were annoyed at the recession crisis and your lack of a job, but stick with it and look past the pills. The keys this time sound like something the xx would like to steal, and the almost rambling lyrics are a marked change from the other two tracks.

As first EPs go, this is very well done. As far as I am aware, he is the sole producer too - which I can tell you is not easy. Yeah, there may be a crackle here or there in the first 10 seconds of 'Stay With Me', but where's your debut EP without it's faults?

Try to not get any of these songs stuck in your head, I dare you.

8/10

You can listen to the EP on Alexei's SoundCloud, here. By can, I mean 'will'. I insist.

H x