Lola Ray's debut album, 2004's "I Don't Know You," proved the musicians weren't content to be another pop-punk act. With hints of Eighties new-wave woven throughout their songs, the bandmates showed they know how to play melodic leads as well as bang out the power chords.
"Liars" is further proof that Lola Ray wants to be taken seriously, and also that its members are students of Eighties music. Lead singer John Balicanta's melodramatic, pained yelp often sounds like Robert Smith, and Brian Spina's ringing guitar work on "The Way We Argue" is clearly reminiscent of The Edge. Add to this that the album is full of hooks, catchy choruses, decent melodies and some semblance of harmony.
And yet, somehow this album often falls short. The theatrical vocals coupled with the lyrical content' which is also rather dramatic' severely limits the audience. If you have a mortgage, you probably won't relate.'Michael Franco