God Love You For A Liar - Holding You Is Like Keeping Water In My Hands
Bill Cummings 27/11/2007
Last month there were a flurry of “Suede to reform!?” stories, after Brett Anderson let slip that there may be a way back for his former outfit who disbanded in 2004. One has to wonder whether this would be a wise move given Brett's recent output: his reformation with Bernard Butler under the Tears banner was inconsistent, whilst his pale recent solo album was hamstrung by a deficit of new lyrical and musical ideas. Its all a far cry from those pre Brit pop years (92-94) when Suede were one of the best band's in the country, their dark grimy glamourous suburban songs about “ all the love and poison of London” oozed glamour, Brett's peerless vocals were underpinned by a masterful ability to produce heartbreaking melodies, and crunchy glam rock, song's that showed real dynamism produced in part by Butler's brilliant guitar sound. It's odd then to note then since then very few bands have been directly influenced by that early Suede sound, only Leeds' Oxfam Glamour Models have come close in recent years but even then their scratchy punk sound only hinted vocally at Brett and co. Slipping on the new EP from London four piece God Love you for a Liar, one is struck by just how influenced they are by Suede.
The opening angular guitars lines of opener “Holding you is like keeping water in my hands” signal a frantic pop rhythm section, its fractured sexual kick start “release the hand break between my legs” breaks loose into the sound of the drudgery of the 9-5, insecurity and a deep fear of losing the one you love, the lyrics initially appear clunky, but the central metaphor reveals human fragility. (I push the words down to my mouth/ this prison shouldn't let you out/don't turn away I'll follow you.). Lead singer Gareth Moss' vocals careering towards on the edge of the sneer of Brett, and the flamboyance of Morrissey.
Following up such a storming opener is somewhat of a challenge and whilst the soaring melodies of second track “love like we're lovers” try their best, it all sound slightly clichéd sitting amid two majestic turns, at points the chiming guitars, soaring melodies and oblique vocals sound like the meeting point between the instant melodies of Feeder and the spindling prog pop of Muse.
In contrast “The Hunger” sounds every inch a hit, a bit like Coming Up era Suede or Marion's “Sleep” it's a song of fast paced melodies, scratching metallic guitars, a whirring rhythm section that chases you across high rise buildings, and those trademark Brettistic swooping long notes: backed up by urgent stabbing backing vox, it's the sound of a band on the edge a band ready to take on the music scene, they want you to succumb. (“Give me the heart of every boy/and every girl…”) If your currently thinking that God Love you for A Liar are a just a good Suede tribute band then you would be mistaken: there's clearly more to come in terms of sound and development from this band as the last track proves. The twinkling undulating tones of last track “London You owe me this much” instantly hit you as a step change to round off the EP, its picked out guitars and melodic urban alienation, sound not unlike the work of early Tyrannosaurus Rex or Hunky Dory era Bowie. The tumbling twin guitar notes sit perfectly alongside heartbreak of its vocal lines that fairly ring out. (“He gave me the capacity to love/and to lift when I was filling up.”)
God Love you for A Liar clearly have masses of potential, a sound that's been honed by hours in the rehearsal rooms and on the road, they're the best “Suede influenced” band I've ever heard. Which is both a good and bad thing, music doesn't drop out of the sky you have to be influenced by something, and Suede's peak period is a good one to steal from: as its a treasured period for me. When their sound is good it's frightening well executed, when it lapses into parody it can sound a little: well derivative. If they continue to shift a little away from their obvious influences and produce music of both quality and individualism they could be just what the indie scene needs, glamour and tunes; it's been a long time without both at once.