Alien Country dropped a new album on July 11. It’s called Like My Life Depends on It. The musical project of Liam Marcus Torres, Alien Country reflects Torres’ love for country rock and science fiction. Fun is the heart and soul of Alien Country’s sound.
“I want my fans to have fun. Even if they’re having a bad day, I hope to put a smile on their faces and get ’em tappin’ their toes,” says Torres.
Torres began playing the piano when he was eight years old and electric guitar at 13. His musical influences include Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen, Vivian Campbell, George Lynch, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis. Yet Torres doesn’t allow his influences to restrict his creativity. He injects musical twists and turns into his compositions, going so far as to utilize quirky instruments like the ukulele and theremin.
The theremin, invented in 1919 by Leon Theremin (aka Lev Termen), a Russian physicist, is played without touching it and requires great finesse.
Like My Life Depends on It comprises 13 tracks, a baker’s dozen. “So-Called Friends” is a Hank Williams-like country tune flavored with rock-lite energy. “Reality Check” opens with a delicious country shuffle providing the impetus for twangy guitars and a tight fiddle. Torres’ voice, a snug tenor, reveals drawling timbres infused with yummy tremors.
“Forced Game” starts off with a bluesy texture and then takes on a new wave-country rock feel, like Depeche Mode trying their hand at country music. “Remedy” is another tune combining new wave energy and country. A chugging rhythm propels the song, as a shrill fiddle and slightly dirty guitar provide the harmonic colors.
“Tell Me So” merges country and post-punk pigments into a stylish number emanating blushes of what can only be described as barn-dance synth-pop. “Hold Me” exudes dark, sensual colors radiating from country-alt rock flavors. Torres’ voice assumes a David Byrne lilt, nuanced with hypercivilized tones.
Like My Life Depends on It is totally cool, quite unlike anything in existence. The combination of country rock with new wave, alt rock, and synth-pop relishes gives Alien Country’s music an innovative, cutting-edge sound both strangely appealing and immediately fresh.
Follow Alien Country on aliencountry.org and Facebook.