Review Summary: Questions raised along with arms waved.
Expressing the boundless energy of a city from the confines of a bedroom comes this electronic, dub, pop hybrid debut from London trio Real Lies.
Given that it is their first offering there is a plethora of influences and different directions displayed here but it is all entwined round a late 80s early 90s slant. New Order and baggy 'Madchester' indie abound on tracks such as World Peace and the opener Blackmarket Blues which includes the thoughtful lyric of 'This is one for every old friend that I've lost, every girl I loved at school who got married to a ghost and the absent sons and daughters who were waylaid on the road.' The patter is all delivered in a spoken flow while the tunes themselves are wrapped in sung harmonies and well crafted chorus.
Some may find the geezerish anglocentric tones and Southern colloquialism a bit hackneyed especially with throwback terms such as 'bosh' not failing to raise a cringe on the otherwise foot tapping track Deeper.
The musical journey is a metaphorical trip on the arterial to a club that never closed its doors on the nineties. One Club Town could've come straight from the 1992 UK single charts but with its bass groove and arms aloft melody its hard to contain the euphoria.
The real craft here though is in representing what it means to be young, confused and lost in the thrum of a metropolis where finding ones place is an impossibility. Album highlight North Circular akin to Mike Skinners The Streets 'Weak Become Heroes' really does a job in conjuring images of nighttime views across the city while walking back from the safety of a neon illuminated convenience.
Where modern electronic music can offer programmed bleakness, Real Lies use the foundation the genre was spawned from to strip it back to its origins and back into the hedonism of club night while offering a freshness that is rare.
The album tells a ten million stories of real lives lived, whether or not it's a lie that has been spun by fakers should not be answered on this debut as the blinking light of opportunity beckons towards an exciting future.