Liars' Liars : Making Mashed Potatoes Out Of 40+ Years Of Music

I really am so thrilled at the direction that Liars has taken their music in the last five years or so. I was indifferent in the beginning, considering the passable noise-art/art-rock jangleheads that they seemed to be. "Might as well be playing Fischer Price instruments," I snarkily remarked sometime around the release of their earlier stuff. Granted, I was secretly addicted to They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Mountain On Top, but I resisted getting my hands on the whole LP until I simply couldn't stop listening to "Mr Your On Fire Mr."

There are moments, even in the opening track to their latest self-titled release, that are unmistakably LIARS-ESQUE. Right at the 2:50 mark of "Plaster Casts Of Everything," there's that hint of the pseudo neu-grunge sound that tried to spill over the edges of the saturated post-9/11 New York City hipster pot, and then up comes the broom, sweeping the song away and into the rest of the record. (The first time I listened to Liars, out August 28th, my iTunes was actually on shuffle and it went straight to Trentemoller...very confusing.) Though it does sound a bit at times that Liars are treading ground that's been pissed on countless times already by the likes of Beck, Sonic Youth and Jane's Addiction, the threesome is clearly marking their own territory.

"Leather Prowler" is not for beginners: it's four-minute intermissionary track that turns out to really not be much of an intermissionary track at all. It's the part of the journey where you're stuck in the woods without a map, but your brain goes into autopilot; the veil of fear lifts, and you can go on. In this case, what you're moving on to is "Sailing To Byzantium" - a gorgeous track of shimmery electronics and steady drums. Everything beyond that just gets better and better. The remaining seven tracks on Liars dance all over the last 40 years of music, touching on the psychedelic, the cock-rock, and goth-esque (think Bauhaus). In a way, the album can be viewed as inconsistent, but even to call it that would be more a compliment than anything else...

Audible: Liars - "Cycle Time" (for the bike lover in you?)
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/liarsliarsliars

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