Starting with a slow rumble, the sound snowballs, little by little picking up steam, louder, louder, and louder still, until bursting into squalls of dissonance and deep, detached vocal harmonies. And that’s just in the first 30 seconds of the first song on the record.
Vaz are masters of tone; that’s what this record is all about, the tone that they put out through their music, and the tone you feel while listening to it. Dark, brooding, and even creepy at times, The Lie That Matches the Furniture is half an hour of distortion and feedback soaked rock ‘n’ roll, all fronted by the ghost of Ian Curtis himself. And if it’s not the ghost of Ian Curtis, it’s a man who’s possessed by the ghost of Ian Curtis, because I’ve never heard anyone come as close to sounding like him as the singer for Vaz does. Paul Erickson has the trademark vacant-sounding drone down to perfection, and the bleak tones of the music behind him does nothing if not reinforces that.
This entire record oozes an eerie calm before the storm-type feeling, just waiting to lull you into a false sense of security, before snapping back into a ball of rage the likes of which no one has ever seen or heard before. I feel tense just listening to songs like “The Blue Hour,” which features some background vocals that sound almost as creepy as the lead, and “Sink the Swan,” where the schizophrenic guitar work goes at such a pace that your head is left in a fuzz. The vocals are barely audible here, but can be made out enough to keep that dark tone in tact as it reminds of some eerie, cult-like chanting.
If anything, the record becomes darker as it moves along. “Owelmen” isn’t so much a song as it is a sample of a crazed man doing some sort of public speaking over some droning chord repetition, and “The Hague” continues without any sort of vocals either, both setting the stage for the wall of sound that is “Blood Oranges.” Sounding positively evil at times, Erickson’s demeanor matches that of a man deranged, and the more deranged he sounds, the better the music becomes.
This is a dark, dark album that is bound to evoke feeling from anyone who chooses to listen. The imagery and pictures it paints in your head is astounding. Picture yourself on a bleak woody trail, every branch on every tree looking like a sickly finger waiting for some one so unfortunate to pass through its radius. Every step creaks louder than the last, and you fear what you could possibly be awaking in the underbrush. You finally come to a clearing, and realize every animal is howling, and every tree moving closer to your feet. Scared out of your wits, this record is the soundtrack to it all.