LIARS - SISTERWORLD
It’s almost ten years since they first started making music together, but at the start of a new decade Liars still retain the energy and vitality of a new band with every record that they make.
It’s no real surprise. While some of the other bands lumped into the Brooklyn post-punk revival scene that first brought Liars to prominence have floundered, this is a group that have constantly challenged themselves and their fans, daring to explore different textures, sounds and themes with each step that they take. It’s a sad state of affairs that Liars should be so unusual for this willingness to push themselves, but the fact that they’ve consistently made music so daring, frightening, funny and downright odd means that we should cherish them now more than ever.
From its title onwards 2001’s debut album, They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top, announced the arrival of a group ready to challenge preconceptions. Taking the New York dance-punk sound as its starting point, the record was full of sharp corners and unexpected twists, sounding defiantly unconventional when some of their peers were looking to the past.
Shedding original drummer and bassist Ron Albertson and Pat Noecker and regrouping as a three piece, the new (and current) line up of Liars – Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth) and Julian Gross (drums) – shifted their horizons for their second album They Were Wrong So We Drowned (2004), which was recorded in the woods of rural New Jersey with legendary producer Dave Sitek and explored themes of witchcraft and eldritch folklore.
Now the group return with their boldest and most exhilarating record to date. Sisterworld was written and recorded in Los Angeles by Liars and Tom Biller (Kanye West, Beck, Where The Wild Things Are/Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind soundtracks) and is an invigorating summation of their career so far. Building on the back-to-basics approach employed by Liars (the album) Sisterworld is a dense art-pop thrill from start to finish.
Sisterworld’s songs are thematically linked by experience - in this case the recent experience of living in Los Angeles, the city where Andrew and Aaron first met while studying at Cal Arts. The first Liars album to be entirely recorded in the US since 2004 also saw Andrew relocating from Berlin and exploring the possibilities of the underground fringes of the City Of Angels.