Liima and ii from 4AD: letters and numbers all over the place from this post rock combo

23rd April 2016

Title: ii

Label: 4AD

Pressed on a green disc, so bright you could nail it to your bike and use it as a road safety accessory, Liima is occupied by Mads Brauer, Casper Clausen and Rasmus Stolberg of Efterklang plus Tatu Rönkkö a Finnish percussionist who is a good chum of the band and has played live with them on occasion. So we are looking at post rock-like vibes here but with the Efterklang twist so we should expect an almost americana or alt.folk edge to their work?

You know, this album reminds of of something or someone. I found it difficult to pin down and it took a while and then I remembered. This album sounds exactly like those new wave/post punk albums that appeared around the mid-80s but the type that craved to retain the street cred elements of the new wave/post punk but then attached a pop-type gloss over the top to attempt to secure pop success and enough money for the group to buy a Porsche, big house and a new TV each with enough change for a pie and chips at the local eatery.

Now, I’m not suggesting that this album, which is mastered nicely, lacks commitment. I’m not suggesting that it is shallow or is a vehicle to make money. I’m not suggesting that it lacks artistic credibility. No, none of that. What I am suggesting, though, is that is it is a melange of credible genres such as avant-garde electronica, post rock, alt.folk, electro pop and more with a veneer of gloss over the whole, varied conglomeration that is so thick, sosticky and so invasive that is freezes any sense of artistic worth like a fly, frozen in amber. It is this gloss, this veneer that ties the whole album together along with a lead vocal that is stolen directly from Aha.

Take a look at the mountain goat on the front cover. See the ‘edgy’ rocks he is standing on? The ‘sharp’ horns? The ‘robust’  and ‘powerful’ muscles rippling from his body? Liima is none of these things. Liima is the ‘soft’ and ‘cuddly’ bits of wool that are moulting off its arse.