Pants On Fire is the brainchild and solo project of Evan Shely, a prolific musician who has been a part of several bands and is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music. This past summer, Pants On Fire released Liar, Liar, a full-length, eclectic album that was recorded in a room in Shely’s barn.
The album begins with a slow, ambient electric guitar riff in “Apocrypha III.” Warbling power chords join in just before driving percussion and droning vocals enter the soundscape. Over the course of the song, the energy ebbs and flows, and the give and take makes for a very intriguing listening experience. Slightly more conventional in its style, “Michael Jackson’s Plastic Surgery Lizard” features bluesy chord progressions and crisp vocals that make this track a definite highlight.
The danceable “Pressure Diamond” follows with a dynamic riff that repeats throughout the tune. Layered vocals create a very full sound in this track, a trait that continues in “Lukewarm Summer,” a bright, punching rock anthem with elements of experimental and punk. “Frog-Shaped Oven Mitt” follows with an ominous, grunge-esque opening riff. This song demonstrates Shely’s ability and ease with which he can modulate his voice and sound to fit seamlessly into many different musical styles.
A swaying beat characterizes “Million Dollar Lampshade Lantern” as the song slowly but surely plods along, bolstered by energetic strumming and intense percussion. Reverb-laced vocals add an ambience to the otherwise down-to-earth song. In “Constellation Thief,” the album’s typically hard-hitting energy is toned down into a highly melodic, laid back ballad that gradually builds in volume and complexity until the very end.
After an extremely short and speculative interlude entitled “A Mammoth,” the instrumental “1932” takes listeners on a variable and exciting journey through many distinct sounds and themes before the album’s closer, “Another Song Called Stockholm” concludes Liar, Liar with mostly instrumental tones. Unfettered emotion is portrayed in this track through crashing cymbals, distorted guitars and vague hints of piercing vocals. As a whole, Liar, Liar embodies the psychedelic rock genre with the utmost precision, as well as incorporating techniques and elements from several other genres with effortless skill and talent.
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