Self-described on their Bandcamp page as “two fuck-up queer trans boys,” the Filthy Liars have quickly morphed their slow acoustic sorrows into an emo, punk-pop outfit equally as depressing, just with bigger explosions.
Due to their apparent lack of regard for age and wisdom, the recently-formed threesome from parts Halifax and parts Vancouver are a surprise to be sure, demonstrating tight musical choreography, all the while sounding like they are headlining your local garage.
Aptly titled If All Else Fails (Cry and Cry Again), the prose, which is generally harmonious in delivery, is an honest account of a personal world of identity theft and depression, and though their angst is often communicated with pleasant decorum (which is in contrast to the manic guitars and drums behind them), on a few occasions they inflict short but impressive amounts of abuse on their vocal chords.
Filthy Liars do not overstay their welcome with any particular way of doing things, and tracks like “Tunnels,” which starts innocently with three acoustic strings played on two separate guitars, still end up sounding great even in their simplicity.
Of course, exposing their most inner thoughts doesn’t hurt their cause, either: “I am afraid of not actually being a person.” It’s a sentiment that captures the spirit of their struggle; on the one hand they’re pissed at the world and ready to take up arms, and in other moments they are vulnerable, unsteady and unsure. The dialogue throughout the record is delivered rather maturely despite the frequent f-bombs and inexperience in the range of their voices.
In the end, If All Else Fails is an exercise in opposites with youth bursting through the cracks and corners of a soundscape that more seasoned bands would be happy to call their own.