Liiek Deep Pore LP

Enjoyed the debut LP (or 12” or whatever eight songs in fifteen minutes is best labelled as) by Berliners LIIEK nearly two years back, and they’ve more than consoled it with Deep Pore, a longer and slightly slicker eleven-tracker. Its post-punk rhythms can get decently funky, though you wouldn’t confuse this for quote-unquote dance music; basslines have a tonal depth that borders on gloomy, but the three-piece is too peppy to be goths or anarchos (compared to, say, either of the DÏAT LPs, to studiously pick out another Berlin band). At their punkiest here, that being “Take on a Dramatic Scale” for my money, they’re not a country mile from a band like SARCASM, I guess. I’m enjoying this album a bunch, and if this review lacks direct praise for LIIEK’s stern, choppy bassline-driven songs, it’s only because I’m f(l)ailing to comfortably box up a release with lots of familiar sounds sewn together in a slightly unfamiliar way.

Liiek One Two EP

Berlin’s post-punk underground is absolutely one of the best localized scenes going right now, and it delivers yet again with the most recent release from the Allee Der Kosmonauten collective-affiliated trio LIIEK, who dish out three propulsive, bass-centered cuts on this EP that are dry enough to be cause for concern with the start of wildfire season just around the corner. “One Two” nicks a bit from GANG OF FOUR with an airtight combo of rubbery bass/Swiss watch-precise beats and quick cuts of trebly guitar, while the sternly shouted vocals from barely unclenched jaws and the darker, slightly anarcho-tinged direction of “Fog” and “Fitted and Lost” largely abandon any sort of rigid funk for the no-hope, 21st century (post-)industrial repetitive paranoia of bands like RANK/XEROX and DIÄT. Full-on Brutalist bunker sounds.

Liiek Liiek LP

The fine line between efficiency and parsimony is walked by LIIEK on their debut long-player, if that’s the best term. Eight songs, fifteen minutes—bam!—could’ve left me wanting more in a less-than-good way, but this type of sharp, skeletal post-punk makes the whole experience work. A Berlin trio who sing in English; a typical LIIEK song weds a clean guitar line to a disciplined rhythm section, with semi-spoken vocals and occasionally chunkier riff breakdowns. “Waterfall” and “Dynamite” have a paranoid funk about them, comparable to SHOPPING, darker/starker moments come closer to someone like NEGATIVE SPACE, and closing number “The Goods Were Properly Packed” rides a choppy disco-punk groove. That, or the presence of songs titled “Crisis” and “Wire” is LIIEK putting their cards face-up on the table. Either way, there seems to be a bunch of neato punk weirdness coming out of Berlin right now, and this band appears fairly embedded in it.