Liars – Sisterworld

Rating: ★★★★ ·

Long ago Liars delved into post-punk world with They Threw…on Top, but they’ve shape-shifted on every record since that point, which would lead many to believe that Sisterworld would have some sort of major twist forcing listeners to adapt yet again.  The fact is, Liars have finally completed their most cohesive collage of noise-rock since their debut, and in doing so, have created their best work to date.

Our opening two tracks, “Scissors” and “No Barrier Fun” find the group getting into a bit of garden darkness.  “Scissors” features a haunting Angus vocal, with choir backing, that creeps along whilst tinkering noises guide the song.  Suddenly, you’re met with crashing noise.  It’s similar to the way the opened Liars, but as soon as you realize what’s happened, we’re back to Angus lurking in the shadows. Meanwhile, “No Barrier Fun” brings along the experimental noise work the band has employed in the past, throwing everything but the kitchen sink into the mix.  For some reason, there is a throbbing electronic element in the background that seems to keep you on edge throughout.

But, never to be a band to stay in one place for long, you’ll find that “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant” brings sort of an Anthrax vocal delivery coated in walls of feedback and noise.  You have to expect them to belt this song out in the live setting, as the energy alone emitted from this song surpasses almost all their work to date; even Angus’ odd vocals stretched over the ending are not enough to take away from the incessant pounding element that makes this number stand out in the head of most listeners.

One of the weirdest things about recent Liars records, including this one, is that sometimes the band just seems as if they’re messing about in the studio, and yet they manage to always make it sound interesting.  “Proud Evolution” doesn’t really seem to have anywhere to go from the first few seconds, and it almost feels like you’re stuck listening to this song without an escape; this may be why you have to credit the band for their creativity and exploration. You’ll find that as the percussion joins and the lyrical delivery comes in almost the form of a stomping chant, you’ve already invested yourself enough into the song to want to let it go by skipping on to the next moment.

Liars remain a compelling listen throughout Sisterworld due to their ability to juxtapose haunting experimental numbers right next to their oddball noise rock.  “The Overachievers” recalls some of their earliest work, although it has the sonic exploration of their later works, as screeching guitars fill in the back line of the song.  Then they throw it out the window and back the song right into “Goodnight Everything,” which comes off like a demonic version of M83, as soundscapes are destroyed by the death march of the guitars and Angus’ continually disturbing vocal delivery.

You have to give it up for this band.  Rarely does a band manage to jump from point to point throughout their career and still maintain a reasonable sense of cohesion amidst their catalogue.  Liars continue to push the envelope in their own quest to uncover every redeemable quality in sonic exploration.  Sisterworld is the benefactor of this never-ending search, finding the band learning from their past, and moving on into unknown territories of creative noise.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/09-The-Overachievers.mp3]

Download: Liars – The Overachievers [MP3]

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