You Want It Real kicks against the pricks, bucks conventions, and battles the patriarchy and oppression one blood-curdling guitar riff at a time.
You can read the title of the latest album from Vancouver-based trio lié as either a statement or question; a taunt or a tease. You Want It Real is the genuine article: an album of unfeigned energy and urgency that ends up being less in-your-face and more in-your-head.
lié’s cerebral mind-fuck starts with the first guitar thrusts on “Digging in the Desert”, blending desperation, disgust, and despondency in an ambiguously heady two minutes and fifty seconds. Lyrics like “I looked into his bleeding eyes / Decided not to bother / We knew it was our fallacy / To trust in one another,” bite hard even though it’s never clear exactly who has the teeth marks to prove it. And therein lies the potency of lié’s post-punk pugilism: no one is innocent and no one is immune. On “Bugs”, guitarist/vocalist Ashlee Luk uses the creepy crawlies as a metaphor for self-deprecating feelings (“You hear ’em, they’re calling / Your failures, your body / and the words you should have said”). “Drowning in Piss” is infested by another pest (in this case rats) that double as confusion, complacency, and contempt (“Do trust him when he’s high / Do you need him cause it gets you by / Do love him when he lies / do you need him cause he lets you by”).
You Want It Real rounds out its sonic assault with “Fantasy of Destructive Force” and “LSD”. The former is another gut-examination of what it means when we hide violence and misogyny with urbanity and charm. The latter is a stunning blast of dissonance and decay that’s desperately looking for a utopia — whether narcotically induced or not — wherever possible. There are no easy answers in lié’s reality, and You Want It Real never offers any. It is an unrelenting record that kicks against the pricks, bucks conventions, and battles the patriarchy and oppression one blood-curdling guitar riff at a time.