Liars - They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top

by Bob Coyne Rating: Release Date:2002-08-19

They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, the debut album from New York punk-funk bohemians the Liars, is an excellently scrappy document of the Big Apple as seen from the gutter: a hip-shaking DIY no-wave document that could have been made 20 years ago, but sounds totally modern today. "Can you hear us? Can you hear us?" yelps frontman Angus Andrew on the opening "Grown Men Don't Just Fall in the River Like That", "We've got our finger on the pulse of Americaaaa!" And from thereon in, They Threw Us All in a Trench... throws up questions with a dizzying fervour. Why use two chords when one chord will do? Why not revist the undocumented ruins of post-punk and build new, fantastic compositions--tracks like "Tumbling Walls Buried Me in the Desert With ESG" and "Loose Nuts on the Veladrome"--on the ashes? Why not conclude your album with a thirty-minute closer, the sinister PiL-esque groove of "This Dust Makes That Mud", that takes up over half of the album's total running length? An occasional urge towards atonality may dissuade anyone not on good terms with the back catalogue of Sonic Youth, but the fact remains that the Liars are up there with the best of New York's new-wave. --Louis Pattison

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