The Fallows and their real rock attitude have come back with their second album Liars & Kings. The five-set piece’s loud and energetic personality shines through their latest songs, but there are also a few acoustic pieces that gives the listener an insight into a more clean, laid back side of the band. The fiery passion of The Fallows may not be present throughout every Liars & Kings tracks, but it is still a magnificent album with songs that highlight what the band is really capable of.
The album kicks off with Liars And Kings, a perfect example of The Fallows aggressive folk sound. As the words ‘She’s a liar, she’s a liar’ is layered with a pounding drum beat and lively movements of the string section, the song really gets you foot-stomping and urges you to sing along. A quality that The Fallows have always been praised for is their performances and this song is definitely one to see live.
Liars And Kings is followed up by English Winter, and presents an entirely different tone. There is a more prominent acoustic, down-to-earth mood evident as the song acts as a break from the dynamic sounds of Liars And Kings. The Fallows hang up their aggressive sound and settle into a more sombre persona in English Winter. The pensive mood of the piece is heightened by the acoustic guitar and subtle piano riffs.
Personally, my favourite song from Liars & Kings is its third track Red. If anyone has ever watched Moulin Rouge then you’ll understand why this song reminded me of the film’s cover of The Police’s Roxanne. The rapid drum rolls, sharp violin melodies and vapid lyrics set up a perfect scene of a dimly lit ballroom floor, where the tango is performed by two passionate lovers.
The band’s musical prowess continues to be displayed in Run Like A Dog. A beautiful acoustic guitar riff introduces the track, and this intricacy is carried out through the swooping violins, soothing harmonies and elaborate beat. All these delightful elements come together to create an engaging, nostalgic tune.
While there are definite stand out tracks in Liars & Kings, there are others that seem to just blend in and fill the background. When listening to their album it felt like there were only two primary modes: angry folk and acoustic folk. Apart from Red, there weren’t any variation in the sound of the other songs.
Cast The First Stone ends the same way Liars And Kings starts with the same dynamic drum roll, both songs trying to be uplifting and snappy. English Winter establishes the calm, leisurely mood well, but it feels like I’ll Let You Know, Kerry Girl and Broken Glass end up following the same road. This is because all those songs enter with an acoustic riff, ease in with melancholy lyrics and vocals, then create a slight build up to the chorus where harmonies come in to try and create a bigger atmosphere.
The same structure can be seen in the song Washed Out, except another aspect of the track that stood out was when the chorus forces extra sentences at the end of the lines. What was a relaxing song with a solid beat and smooth violin became quite suffocated when those final lyrics are sung. The additional words just weren’t meant to fit in the melody of the vocals.
The album finishes with Stamping Their Feet. The song is a good blend of a bold but self-controlled, moving folk anthem. By the time you get to the final song there’s a sense of relief that lingers around. While the journey to get to the end sometimes felt like the same path over and over again, Stamping Their Feet saves the day with its uplifting atmosphere that isn’t established enough in the rest of the album. As you sway your head back and forth, humming the tune of the violins, Liars & Kings redeems itself and concludes as a reasonably enjoyable album.