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Carolina Liar - Coming To Terms

Carolina Liar, Coming To Terms

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

CAROLINA Liar release their debut album Coming To Terms off the back of having enjoyed numerous plays on US TV shows of the moment such as Gossip Girl, 90210 and One Tree Hill.

It’s an effective right of passage for new, hopeful bands… and a good way of getting them noticed. Artists such as Imogen Heap, PSAPP and Rilo Kiley have all benefited from such exposure, and deservedly so!

Carolina Liar, led by South Carolina-born frontman Chad Wolf and including Swede Max Martin, are actually based out of LA but adopt a more British sensibility to their inspiring blend of pop and rock. Hence, if you like Doves, Coldplay, Keane or Aqualung you’re sure to be impressed.

Coming To Terms is brimming with emotionally-charged songs that boast skyscraping choruses and bittersweet lyrics. There’s a keen sense of melody throughout and an easy appeal that should, if there’s justice, propel them into the music stratosphere.

Album opener and former single I’m Not Over is a classic case in point – brimming with catchy hooks, a lively chorus and a shimmering pop-hook sensibility that’s tailor-made for the term “radio friendly”. Its epic chorus is made for singing along to, complete with late “whoa whoa”-ing.

It’s followed by the more piano-based slow-builder that is Coming To Terms, a song that wears both its Coldplay and Aqualung sensibilities on its sleeve and delivers another fine moment.

Last Night is perhaps a little too reliant on the synth-sound of the moment and is both more ’80s influenced and European venturing than necessary, but Show Me What I’m Looking For is a rousing, emotional powerhouse of a record that has plenty of chimes and a rocking chorus, and Simple Life contains an addictive guitar hook that lifts cleverly from Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.

Thereafter, the momentum is sustained impressively, with California Bound a near-perfect slice of driving music, Done Stealin’ a Keane-esque power ballad built around piano chords and an impassioned chorus, and Something To Die For a sharp rocker that boasts some more classic American songwriting values.

Beautiful World, meanwhile, trades the moody opening of a Snow Patrol epic with another skyscraping Keane-Coldplay power chorus, while When You Are Near ends things in power ballad mode and ensures things end on a high.

Carolina Liar may not be doing anything ground-breaking but sometimes it’s the simple, classic values that resonate the best.

Coming To Terms is therefore an excellent debut that’s well worth becoming acquainted with.

Download picks: I’m Not Over, Coming To Terms, Simple Life, Done Stealin’,

Track listing:

  1. I’m Not Over
  2. Coming to Terms
  3. Last Night
  4. Show Me What I’m Looking For
  5. Simple Life
  6. All That Shit Is Gone
  7. California Bound
  8. Done Stealin
  9. Something to Die For
  10. Beautiful World
  11. Better Alone
  12. When You Are Near