Album Review: My Sex Life Matters Not To Me by Black Liver
If you’re looking for an album to have a nice, healthy cry to, Black Liver’s debut EP My Sex Life Matters Not To Me will get you there and then some.
As the title would suggest, this EP is an intimate descent into the darkly complex feelings of love and the pain that often stems from it. And what better way to explore these emotions than with raw, poignant lyricism, impassioned guitar riffs, and melancholic melodies? Andrew Devin and Harrison McClain’s brilliant instrumentation, production, and songwriting will hit your emotions at every angle, creating a perfect assortment of tracks to round out your winter blues.
The four-song EP slowly pulls you in with a string of somber guitar notes followed by faint, whispery vocals in “Fit.” Each word barely clings on, with sighs filling up the empty spaces between lyrics. Devin’s voice slightly breaks on certain notes, transferring an intense feeling of yearning as he sings, “I want to feel how we felt/I haven’t quite fit right with anyone else.” He repeats this line quietly a few times, with every repetition sinking deeper into your skin. As the music slowly builds up in the background, Devin repeats himself again, however this time more assertively as he reaches higher register notes that still manage to sound just as intimate as the whispery vocals. The romantic simplicity of Devin’s lyricism combined with his beautifully raw voice weaves the listener deep into the intricacies of falling in love.
The tempo picks up in the EP’s second song “Know You” as bass and drums take the forefront. This is quickly juxtaposed as Devin shakily sings, “I don’t even know you anymore / I don’t think I want to anyway.” That all-too familiar feeling of loving and losing cascades throughout the track as McClain and Devin play off of each other, eventually building up to an electric guitar solo. Emotionally belting his way through the end, you begin to hear resistant acceptance in Devin’s voice as he ends with, “It comes with time / But I’ll be fine.”
As you slip into the EP’s 3rd track, “Haunt,” you start to get more of ‘80s goth rock influence meshed with the pop punk styled vocals of guest singer AJ Perdomo of The Dangerous Summer. With Perdomo being a long-time veteran of the pop punk/post-hardcore label Hopeless Records, I couldn’t think of a better guest vocalist for this emo/indie rock influenced EP. The crisp raspiness of Perdomo’s voice is perfect for a song about feeling haunted by past lovers, transferring the feeling of dread over to the listener. As I was listening to this EP, it gave me a great amount of nostalgia for the emo, indie, and pop-punk bands I listened to growing up. Being able to hear Perdomo on this track was just icing on the cake, and only proved to me that great alternative rock music is still alive and well, and not just something to feel nostalgic about.
As the EP wanes, listeners are gifted with an acoustic track, titled “Chrysanthemums.” With angst wearing away, Devin returns back to soft vocals, barely holding onto notes before descending into a whisper. “Have you forgotten what I told you?” he questions near the end of the song. “I was going to ask you to marry me / With my grandmother’s ring / It’s still yours for the taking.” The song ends right then and there and you are left to deal with the intense feelings that the duo has curated in the 15 minute EP. If at this point you aren’t at least a little bit in touch with your feelings, I would be shocked.
McClain and Devin’s effortless ability to create an intoxicating ambience paired with beautifully simplistic lyricism and infectious guitar riffs assures me that this new duo will quickly catch the attention of those in the emo/alternative rock scene and beyond.