Review : Liars - WIXIW
Consequence of SoundWhen news broke of the new album from the Liars’ camp, it was cryptic, to say the least. The album’s title, WIXIW, seemed like some sort of heiroglyphic mess, and the video trailer featured time-lapse footage of a banana rotting and microphones pointed at a bowl of Rice Krispies. But hey, this is the band that put out a concept album about a drum fighting a mountain, so weird is to be expected (or better yet, embraced). The key here, though, is the secretive, mystic nature of their work. Where other Liars albums obscured their truth in gritty, scowling dance-punk or walls of guitar noise, WIXIW sinks into a bubbling electronic groove and entrances listeners to a point of intense soul-searching....full text
Clash musicLiars’ new album sounds like an anxiety attack. That’s not much of a surprise. Ever since Angus Andrew chanted “Blood! Blood! Blood!” on 2004's witchy ‘They Were Wrong, So We Drowned’, Liars have been characterised as much by the sense of panic and dread that they conjure, as their frequent changes of musical direction. They’re a Mirror Universe Radiohead, complete with (evil) beards.
The oblique clips on the band’s Tumblr, and the appointment of Daniel Miller as producer, suggested that this would be an electronic album - their ‘Kid A’, if you will. And, indeed, there’s a lot more synth and a lot less guitar here than on 2010’s rocking ‘Sisterworld’. But while the instruments may have changed, it feels like a (proud) evolution of the band’s sound, rather than a reinvention. ...full text
PitchforkEven at their highest points of visibility, Liars have spent the last decade creating obfuscation. Their 2001 debut, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, was a raging fire of herky-jerky Solid Gold antagonism that ended a locked groove which, on CD, ran longer than all of the record's songs combined. The lead single from 2006's Drum's Not Dead, "It Fit When I Was a Kid", featured the unconflicted cover image of the trio's faces superimposed onto gay pornography. Liars have shifted around geographically over the years as well, from New York to New Jersey to Berlin, but since settling down in Los Angeles in 2009, they've made some of their most unsettling and misanthropic work thus far.
The band's latest curveball arrives early on their latest album, WIXIW. Its opening track, "The Exact Colour of Doubt", features Tangerine Dream-like synths giving way to soft pitter-patter percussion and a guitar line that shimmers with just the right amount of reverb. It's lovely, ethereal, and not remotely indicative of what follows....full text
Slant MagazineFiltering eerie dissonance through a shifting series of themed backdrops, Liars have established a successful formula for churning out fascinating albums. Using locations (Berlin, Salem, the New Jersey Pine Barrens) and concepts (the companion art project of Drum's Not Dead) as anchors, they keep their sound familiar but also in a constant state of mutation, a method that makes them the shadowy cultists to Animal Collective's pagan revelers.
WIXIW doesn't have as distinctive a hook as 2010's Sisterworld, with its warped inversion of L.A., but its perhaps even more successful in its creation of a sinister mirror world. The new element introduced here is electronics, presented in patterns that recall the mannered regularity of krautrock, which finds the band messing with solid lines rather than fragmented tape-loop structures. Like Kraftwerk and Faust, Liars seek to make organization alienating, exploiting an illusion of order to seed sonic chaos....full text
Liars Album Reviews
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