Monday, June 11, 2012

CD Review: “WIXIW” by Liars

WIXIW_ Liars


All Liars records are dark, the only question is what kind of dark. But it’s a journey that you will enjoy and with this album, the dark is filled with their most electronica to date. Angus Andrews, Aaron Hemphill, and Julian Gross may have listened to David Bowie, Radiohead and beck growing up, but the music is 100% theirs and it is a dark, HP Lovecraft CS Lewis fairy tale they tell in art/Indies/noise/experimental prose. Its early Pink Floyd meets The Velvet Underground after the discovery of some 21st century electronic toys.

“No. 1 Against The Rush” by Liars from the album WIXIW
The first single, “No. 1 Against The Rush” is full of hooks backed by a quiet bouncy beat that sets the lie to trance like and subversive lyric about the the aftermath of a relationship spiraled out of control.

The album sounds like it was cut in a darkroom with rusty pipes and a bed best not seen in the daylight. The room has one bare light bulb and is situated above a head shop. Pealing wall paper, left over from the dark ages of some major metropolitan city. Only in the seedy, forgotten part of town where scarred lovers roam and prove that real loneliness is not confined to when you are alone.

That’s not far from the truth. Liars formed in L.A. six albums ago, but made a move to Brooklyn and making a name for themselves in the post-punk scene with their first album, They Threw Us In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top. After breaking out of that pigeon hole, they explored noisy concept compositions about German witches which, of course, lead to a move to Berlin to explore another concept album steeped in surrealism and brutal rhythms. Eventually, they migrated back to L.A. and holed up in a seedy neighborhood above a marijuana dispensary to create another dark and forbidding song cycle. WIXIW picks up from there.

“The Exact Color Of Doubt” Liars from the album WIXIW

The opening track, “The Exact Color Of Doubt” is a beautiful song in the way that a cobra has beautiful eyes. It lures you in, makes you relax, breathe and then sets its fangs deep into your soul. It’s a ballad in slow-mo, its seductive and if it was one of Homers Sirens, it would pull you to your destruction on the rocks of obsession.

And just before you get to thinking this is all trance, darkly drawn against the wreckage of a soul lost, Liars hits you with a 4/4 little ditty that almost feels like club music. But then Andrew’s distortion filled, an manic voice clears that thought from your mind, and only the truly demented remain on the dance floor. It’s electronica dance music run through hell.

“Brats” by Liars
there are some tracks that are accessible to the current sounds found in clubs, there are the twisted beats of “Octagon” and “IIIValley Prodigies” seems to flirt with the current fad of rough-hewn ‘90s sampling.

Its an interesting album, and despite its darkness, an appealing album. If nothing else you can shock the hell out of your ‘with-it’ giggle sisters when they crash your pad when the clubs close and want to dance and be oh, so hip.

The band will be taking the show on the road for most of the summer, starting on June 20 in Webster Hall in NYC, then back to L.A. on the 22nd at of all places The Henry Fonda Theater Formerly Known as The Music Box, then its up to San Francisco and The Fillmore. Check their web site for dates near you.


The Dirty Lowdown

Copyright © 2012 Robert Carraher All Rights Reserved

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