Liberez – Sane Men Surround (CD Alter)

With the aesthetics of a precious little treasure box accidentally ended up on a landfill, waiting to tell its story to whoever finds it and is willing to listen. Liberez’ second full length release starts where their first, The Letter, ended. With the release of the Letter, Liberez created mainly confusion and the questions posed will not get straightforward answers on this one either. Instead the quartet from South East England digs deeper, exploring dark black voids in time & space, developing a sound of their own, which is steeped in industrial exotica and depressing schizophrenia.   

The music is again a collection of exquisite gems, here framed as ready-made pills for self help, inducing empathy and evoking almost Victorian nostalgia.  A lot of passages on Sane Men Surround have dark and extraordinary eighties stuff shimmering through, and it is through this hypnagogia that some answers can be found. Tragic rhythm’s, mourning violins and up-tempo gothic harassment together with an often a distracted sounding Nina Bosnic are the main ingredients framing this as a soundtrack for a devastating war ; moments of pre-war happiness whereas most tracks paint a postwar landscape, desolate, sad and full of regret. Pain is never far away, and the violins makes sure wounds will not heal easily. Sane Men Surround is also more focusing on telling the story in different sceneries in faded colors and is less about experiment compared to its predecessor.  

The CD release of Sane Men Surround (it has been released before in a tiny edition on vinyl) comes with a cover that shows a strange scene with a key person missing. The contrast created by this is creating a focus on the absent, on the missing and that is metaphorically speaking also what this album is doing. At first it sounds superficial, but during subsequent listens the more intriguing things get. I like what these folks are doing as Sane Men Surround shows pathways to recycle drama combined with the views of a new generation. A cerebral monument for end times and maybe a glimpse into the future as well. PvdG.