Thursday 24th April 2014

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NME Reviews
June 13, 2012

‘Toe The Line’ – Barefaced Liar

When they first started out, Barefaced Liar seemed armed with the single point agenda of letting their volume knobs do the talking, which was absolutely fine because even as they worshipped at the high decibel altar, BFL never failed to give melody its due attention. This clever juxtaposition enabled the band to make tall strides very quickly with the go-for-the-jugular riffing helping them get the moshpit churning and the catchy grooves ensuring that the song remained in your head long after the curtain had come down on the gig and the band had exited stage left.

The core founding block of BFL’s compositional approach has remained intact on ‘Toe The Line,’ their new single, which will form part of the band’s second album due out later this year. However, there is broader sonic palette at work here which finds the band expanding its sound to embrace intricate instrumental melodies which lurk just underneath the big guitar riffs and become more and more apparent with each repeated listen. The result is that the more you listen to the song, the more little twists and tricks you discover, a definite indication of the kind of songwriting growth that Barefaced Liar have charted in their ongoing journey as musicians.

‘Toe The Line’ begins with a bouncy riff over which Akshay Chowdhry sets up a fine statement of intent about how he, “Needs some information/Trying to fill the blanks I see.” The vocal harmonies in the verses are delightfully understated and there are reverb-drenched chord voicings that recall vintage Izzy Stradlin who acted as the perfect melodic counterpoint to Slash’s fretboard of fury.

There is drop right before the second verse begins and the guitars and vocals intertwine with each other till there is a second drop right towards the end when Akshay sings over an acoustic guitar part before the big riff makes its presence felt again. There is a hint of what definitely sounds like a shredding guitar solo and Barefaced Liar informed NME that they have kept the guitar solo short for the radio edit version of the song. The album cut will find them ripping it up to their heart’s content.

Producer Zorran Mendonsa has given the track a polished sheen and in ‘Toe The Line,’ Barefaced Liar – the aforementioned Akshay and Sumant Balakrishnan – have come up with a track that will give their second album the perfect lift-off when it is released.

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