• Record Label: Mute
  • Release Date: Mar 25, 2014

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. Mar 18, 2014
    This is undoubtedly Liars’ most engaging work, and certainly the best Mute album since, well, WIXIW.
  2. Mar 24, 2014
    Now seven albums deep into their career, Liars remain a lasting and distinguished presence, one that continues to question the confinement of genre and fashions their identity around a refusal to do so.
  3. 85
    Mess is characteristically confident and brash, but humane and enduring. In short, it’s up there with the rest of their unerringly brilliant back-catalogue.
  4. Under The Radar
    Mar 14, 2014
    The kind of envelope-pushing on Mess is nothing if not mature, simultaneously punk as fuck and utterly refined. [Feb/Mar 2014, p.72]
  5. 83
    As the trio continue to remould and refine their craft, Mess, an album fuelled by impulse, demonstrates their ideological core hasn’t moved an inch.
  6. Apr 30, 2014
    All of Mess has an enjoyably menacing feel that will prove inviting to Liars fans and new listeners alike.
  7. Apr 14, 2014
    They’re still nodding to early Pop synthesizer proponents (The Human League, Fad Gadget, A Broken Frame era Depeche Mode), and now mixing in a beefed-up, contemporary EDM blast with the je ne sais quoi that the group infuses into everything it touches.
  8. Apr 7, 2014
    Its lyrics, though often hard to discern in the mumbles, start to get to the core of what Mess is all about--trying to find some sort of peace in this anxiety-breeding world.
  9. Mar 28, 2014
    Even if it's not quite as striking an achievement as WIXIW, it's a lot of fun and shows, once again, that Liars are unquestionably themselves no matter how much they push their boundaries.
  10. Mar 25, 2014
    The group deftly submits to the forms and tropes of electro-pop and vintage EBM.
  11. Mar 25, 2014
    Sonically, the capricious trio has brought about a fresh positive energy while still delving into the darkness that has always been present throughout their career.
  12. 80
    Mess’ is characterised by synths and distorted beats. But unlike the often self-doubting and timid ‘WIXIW’, it revels in its own demented chaos.
  13. Mar 24, 2014
    As with their previous six albums, Liars find a way to both innovate and deliver a brand-loyal effort with (dis)ease.
  14. Liars revel in keeping their listeners on edge and entertained making Mess their most wickedly enjoyable album yet.
  15. Mar 24, 2014
    It's another welcome reversal for a band that, while keeping true to the same program of intense macabre album after album, keeps finding new ways to vary their ominous approach.
  16. Mar 21, 2014
    As much as Mess is a drive further across electronic borders Liars explored in 2012 with WIXIW, it is simultaneously a consolidation of all that has come before.
  17. Mar 20, 2014
    With overwhelming confidence the Brooklyn-based trio present 11 songs of unerring quality and an almost uncountable numbers of flicks and tricks.
  18. Mar 19, 2014
    Being a Liars album, it is magnificent.
  19. Q Magazine
    Mar 14, 2014
    Liars' untidy room remains a wonderful place to visit. [Apr 2014, p.113]
  20. Mar 14, 2014
    Another ambitious statement from a band that has made a habit of reinventing themselves at every stage, while still, somehow, sounding uniquely like Liars.
  21. Uncut
    Mar 14, 2014
    Analogue synths and electronic drums combine with distorted tribal chants to darkly compelling effect. [Apr 2014, P.77]
  22. Magnet
    Apr 18, 2014
    The alterations and differences may be slighter and more comparable to alt-music's lexicon, but that's bound to happen after a decade and a half. Still, the redefinition continues, and so does the compelling art. [No. 108, p.51]
  23. Mar 25, 2014
    More than anything, Mess is impactful commentary about the contemporary tendency to consume culture passively.
  24. Mar 14, 2014
    Uniquely with Mess, they've instead dealt with the most colossal environment, making a grander statement about the aphotic bleakness of society in the process
  25. Mar 25, 2014
    Where WIXIW was the intricately ordered product of a hundred thousand small decisions, Mess is a sloppy, outward-turned--and, it has to be said, uneven--quagmire built with the kind of swagger that dares you to use its own title against it.
  26. Apr 4, 2014
    Here, they reach for a macabre death-disco vibe.
  27. Mar 26, 2014
    On Mess, surface is meaning, with the album’s vacuous hedonism merely another expression of the theme of spiritual oblivion that Liars have explored ever since their debut.
  28. Mar 25, 2014
    They’ve created what is without a doubt their least innovative and least gloriously messy album. It’s a testament to the sturdy identity underneath the surface that the result is great nonetheless.
  29. Mar 24, 2014
    As enjoyable as it can be, Mess is a centrist record from a band without a lot of centrist strengths and appreciating it can feel like a symbolic gesture.
  30. May 1, 2014
    For a group that's never settled down, Mess could be described as Liars' comfort zone.
  31. Mar 31, 2014
    The pace rarely drops and, at points, the noise and structure is, indeed, messy, but the whole is punka focused collection with a bloody-minded, if also bloody-nosed, vision throughout.
  32. Mar 27, 2014
    The album feels less ponderous and more balls-out than its predecessor, but the band hasn’t stitched up its maniacal tendencies into commercial pop either.
  33. Mar 25, 2014
    Its coda features a lone, breathy synth that unfurls like a tattered flag planted high atop a snow-covered peak, and, like the band’s best work, the song is comparable to little else in the pop/indie landscape—a far cry from the tepid feel that permeates too much of this Mess.
  34. The Wire
    Mar 28, 2014
    Mess is more immediate than the past couple of albums, and in context, more baffling. [Mar 2014, p.63]
  35. 50
    Mess gets caught in an odd trap in that it’s neither patient nor nimble.
  36. Mar 26, 2014
    Their meh generation, “shouting lager lager” take on four-on-the-floor energy is starting to wear a bit thin.
  37. Mojo
    Mar 21, 2014
    Mess's crepuscular predecessor felt both more innovative, and more likely to open up Liars' demographic. [Apr 2014, p.92]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Mar 26, 2014
    Perhaps the band's most natural progression yet, MESS sees them take what they learned while making WIXIW and get their hands a little dirtierPerhaps the band's most natural progression yet, MESS sees them take what they learned while making WIXIW and get their hands a little dirtier with it. The first four tracks are a dense punch in the face of high-powered electronica, which slows down a little bit as the album goes on and things get a bit darker. Liars' trademark sense of dread appears mostly on the second half of the album, yet it closes out on its lightest moment with Left Speaker Blown.

    The album itself may be a bit more of a grower than WIXIW was, but it's every bit as good. Yet another masterful collection of songs put out by this band.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 2, 2016
    The most enjoyable dance rock/punk album that I've heard in recent years. I thought the band hit a creative peak with WIXIW, but I was wrong.The most enjoyable dance rock/punk album that I've heard in recent years. I thought the band hit a creative peak with WIXIW, but I was wrong.

    MESS is much more louder, eccentric and dirtier with it's production. With hard hitting drums and grooves on the opener "Mask Maker" and the pulsating beats on "Vox Tuned D.E.D.". The album also experiments with other sounds, like an EBM style beat on the track "Pro Anti Anti" and a three minute long instrumental track "Darkslide" that just adds layers on top of other layers over even more layers the further it progresses.

    The album also takes time to calm down a bit with tracks like "Dress Walker" and other tracks on the second half on the album. So it isn't a full on sonic beatdown from start to finish.

    Oh, the lead single "Mess On A Mission"....pure gold.

    What happens when you take WIXIW, turn it dirty, infuse it with crazy juice and structure the songs like LCD Soundsystem-esque dance records? You'll get MESS.

    Fav Tracks: Mask Maker, Vox Tuned D.E.D., Pro Anti Anti, Mess On A Mission
    Least Fave Track: Left Speaker Blown
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 27, 2014
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