Liars - Liars

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

The fourth, self-titled album by New York’s Liars finds them back on the map after two albums, 2004’s They Were Wrong, So We Drowned and 2006’s Drum’s Not Dead, that saw the band journey deep into the experimental wilderness. It’s important to understand, though, that in the world of Liars, weirdness is relative. So while Liars might be lyrics on songs about witches and twilit percussion experiments, these eleven tracks of spooked, discord-heavy rock, clanking grooves and skronky garage crunch suggest this band still have little to no interest in pandering to the mainstream. Primarily, it’s a shift in energy: on the rockiest track here, "Cycle Time", they marshall white-hot guitar riffs and caterwauling vocals in a way that recalls The Rapture’s pre-disco masterpiece Out of the Races and onto the Tracks; "Freak Out", meanwhile, could almost be a lost track from the Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy sessions, with 60s psychedelia tearing along in a dust cloud of feedback. If there’s a problem here, however, it’s the presumably intentional underproduction, which leaves tracks like "What Would They Know" sounding tinny and cheap. A shame, because elsewhere, Liars sees this band forging bravely onward. --Louis Pattison

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