The Tenebrous Liar feature photographer Steve Gullick founder of magazines Careless Talk Costs Lives and Loose Lips Sink Ships, well known for his photos of Nirvana, Nick Cave, Spiritualized and Neil Young. Steve is also a member of …Bender with Gallon Drunk front man James Johnston.
The Tenebrous Liar have supported Bonnie Prince Billy and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds And toured with Josh T Pearson and Soulsavers with Gullick also joining Soulsavers onstage as guitarist for both their US and European shows.
Run Run Run was co produced and mixed by Richard Warren, best known for his work with Spiritualized, With whom he toured extensively, playing on and co-engineering their highly acclaimed 2008 album Songs In A&E. Followed by a worldwide tour supporting Depeche Mode as guitarist with Mark Lanegan’s Soulsavers, and co writing two songs with Mark Lanegan on ‘Broken’.
Tony Ash - Electric Guitar
Brendan Casey - Bass, Backing Vocals
Tom Glendining – Drums, Backing Vocals
Steve Gullick - Vocals, Guitars
Richard Warren - Producer, Mixer
The Tenebrous Liar returns to the fray with Run Run Run, their latest release on the wilfully independent TV Records.
A desolate road through a remote mountainous pass, in an indeterminate location, is the ominous cover image of Run Run Run. The highway is leading to an uncertain destination, as the darkening sky presages forbidding storms ahead. As ever, The Tenebrous Liar front man Steve Gullick's black and white photography captures perfectly the atmosphere of the brooding music that The Tenebrous Liar have created within the sleeve on hot wax. In fact, the cover artwork resembles more a motion picture soundtrack sleeve than a conventional rock record, which is somehow very fitting for The Tenebrous Liar.
Very much a companion record to their previous 2010 Jackknifed & Slaughtered LP, Run Run Run further hones down and intensifies The Tenebrous Liar's singular musical assault. Once again helmed by the gifted producer, Richard Warren (Soulsavers/Spiritualized), a renowned singer/songwriter/recording artist in his own right, the compelling Run Run Run brilliantly reflects the very real fears and tensions that enveloped the band during the album's recording period, when the combo lived in the studio in which they where actually working.
Run Run Run opens with the suitably cinematic and propulsive 'Theme Tune', a desperate flight from somewhere or someone, and the destination is 'Out'. The song 'Out' is a desperate plea for release, powered by over driven, tattered guitars, powerhouse drums and an insistent vocal screamed from the very pits of despair. Lithe drums and sinuous bass introduce 'The Sickness', a slow paced blues punctuated by cascades of molten rock guitar action from Tony Ash. 'Desire', swathed in shimmering, twanging guitar that echoes the sounds that were attendant at the birth of Rock 'N' Roll, sets a course for the open motorway, before 'Western Skies' start to cast a long portentous shadow, with broiling guitar salvos shattering the slinky furrow dug by Casey's bass and Glendining's drums.
Side Two of Run Run Run opens by way of the pointed rock riff onslaught of 'Primed Lined And Centred'. "Smacked in the face by reality," sings Gullick, with Ash, Casey and Glendining backing up his statement musically every step of the crooked way. Heavy bass and blistering guitar interjections mark the arrival of 'Angel'. Whether the seraph in question is mortal or immortal, benevolent or malevolent, is definitely open to question.
'Realise' commences with a crashing hypnotic riff. This locked down weighty groove, ever descending into murky stygian depths, is broken for a passage for Gullick's heartfelt importuning. Then 'Realise' starts slithering forward again with renewed force, soon erupting into waves of fractious feedback and blasted white heat noise. A raucous clap of shaken amplifier thunder hails a fast, distorted reprise of a flagellated take of 'Desire' before the album closes with the bittersweet and reflective 'Gaze Upon The Sea'. Steadily gaining momentum and passionate intensity, 'Gaze Upon The Sea' churns onwards towards an ill-omened silence. Will it be broken?
Richard Warren's attention to detail in the concentrated recording process of creating Run Run Run has resulted in an additional clarity of sound and sense of purpose to The Tenebrous Liar. As a consequence of having produced Jackknifed & Slaughtered just ten months beforehand, Richard Warren has helped them perfect their formidably potent resonance. Highly vigourous drummer Tom Glendining is now firmly established within the ranks of the group, making the increasingly seismic Tenebrous Liar an even stronger unit than ever before.
But perversely a dread of the collapse of the band, due to numerous unforeseen circumstances, perhaps fuels the utter commitment and authoritative tone of Gullick's song writing and the much darker music, barely contained within the grooves of Run Run Run, than previously featured on Jackknifed & Slaughtered. Throughout Run Run Run the band appear much less easily appeased than on Jackknifed & Slaughtered and their shared desire to push ever further forward musically/sonically is pre-eminent throughout the album's duration.
A dreamlike combination of searing guitar flare-ups and melodic compositions, Run Run Run holds the listener's attention from start to finish. The fact that many of the songs on Run Run Run were rehearsed extensively before going into the studio, where they were then recorded in a maximum of three takes, as well as performed live on numerous tours of the UK and Europe supporting the likes of Nick Cave, Bonnie Prince Billy, Soulsavers and Josh T. Pearson has strengthened the band's considerable emotional impact. While consumed with tempestuous anger and rage, Run Run Run never loses sight of the power of melodious seduction.
Run Run Run reaffirms The Tenebrous Liar's position as one of the most dynamic and uncompromising bands currently operating. Be sure to catch them performing Run Run Run live soon.
‘Tenebrous Liar’s finest hour. “Suffer You” & “No Guiding Light” are fine grunge-pop, borne by basslines borrowed from Joy Division, while the epic title track builds adroitly from Birthday Party blues into a thing of thunderous ferocity’
‘Jackknifed & Slaughtered is a record of intense brooding, marked by the sullen rhythm of Brendan Casey and Tom Glendining. Steve Gullick's vocal blends Nick Cave with Mark Lanegan, exuding a sense of loss, melancholia but equally defiant. The seething 'Suffer You' sets the tone of 'Jackknifed.....' at once - this is a document of the cursed, wretched souls, condemned to rock 'n' roll under pure white heat.’
ROCK A ROLLA
‘The latter part of the Jackknifed brings the influences of early Cat Power, Palace and post-rock to the fore, without ever sounding particularly like anyone other than The Tenebrous Liar; Freedom Reign has to be one of the more vicious songs of recent years, compelling in it’s bitterness. Is This How It Ends? (the answer being “almost”, there’s a wonderful hidden song after it) leaves one gasping for air, and more.’
‘Listening to this album cannot be called a comfortable experience. But then the truth never is… is it? However, there’s much here to admire; that I find totally compelling; and while I hate drawing comparisons with other acts, on this occasion I feel I am justified. Imagine Nirvana at its most angst-ridden, jamming a demo. Imagine instrumental band the Dirty Three falling out of love, angry and obnoxious, while maintaining their melodic roots. Imagine the Tindersticks turning up the recording volume and traveling a much rockier path. This band and album are all this and more’
‘If Leonard Cohen brings a smile to your face and you are partial to a bit of low-fi then Tenebrous Liar is the band for you.’
‘Brooding songs, fusing Cohen, Earth and the more dissonant aspects of Queens of the Stone Age and, whisper it, Nirvana - a raging slab of aural murk that brings to mind the same unease a Halloween jaunt round an abandoned asylum might.‘
Rock – A - Rolla
‘Their music is dark, demented, and deliberate, characterized by murky, lo-fi, feedback-drenched guitars and sludgy rhythms that heave like a spluttering locomotive – gloom-laiden, world-weary vocals, conjuring up hints of Codeine, Flipper, and Pavement.’
The Big Takeover USA