Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Liars: Liars (Mute)
release: August 28, 2007
style: eccentric abstract rock
rating: ***
Liars played at Madison Square Garden with Interpol (and Cat Power, but that's a whole other story). Bad idea. They blew away Sonic Youth in 2002 in support of the debut album, which was relatively accessible wacked out dance rock. But MSG with Interpol in support of THIS? Whatever! The fourth album--which has, for a change, much shorter track titles--is an easier listen than the previous two outings, as they hold back on the self-indulgent, annoying random dabbling. Not that Liars is an easy record to get into, especially for the crowd at MSG waiting for Interpol. But you have to give the trio credit for always thinking outside the box. "Cycle time" puts a Black Sabbath-like riff against falsettos. "Freak Out" sounds like an ode to the Jesus and Mary Chain. Closing track "Protection" shows a possible new direction, as it's weepy and subdued and shockingly soothing on the ears. Keeping with previous work from the Liars, the album is deep in dischordant guitars and disembodied, unintelligable vocals. "Leather Prowler" and "What Would They Know" is noise-rock that's been smashed to smithereens and cancels out any hopes for a complete re-tooling. By now we should expect an unpredictable record from Liars. An unpredictable record that is more focused and memorable would do wonders. -Kenyon

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