Some of you may have noticed I didn’t do this yesterday; I had essays. You may also have noticed that I haven’t done an actual, proper, full-length article or review or anything in weeks. Again, I am aware of this, essays.
But still, it’s all fine now.
Liars are fine now too. Their last album Sisterworld completely threw me off when I first heard it; it was an ugly, angry, mash of noise without anything even close to form. It was virtually unlistenable. That killed off Liars in my eyes for a few years afterward. I didn’t even realise they’d made another album until it had been out for about 6 months, which is a shame because it’s a brilliant album. It, plus the song Brats, both made my top 10 noises this year; though really I could have put any song off like the entire last half of the album on the list. It’s all really really good.
The album is closer in sound to their self-titled debut album than any of their recent work; the only difference is the furious drum-fuelled chaos of that album and Drums Not Dead have been calmed and filtered through ALL THE ELECTRO, stopping along the way to pick up some serious moodiness and atmospherics too. It also has a really cool title – WIXIW. It’s all, symmetrical. And numerical. The whole album cover is really cool actually.
In spite of all its coolness and symmetricalness and drone-y singing it’s still fairly funky though, as evidenced on A Ring On Every Finger. It’s all thick, heavy, oppressive synths and basslines backed up by some measured, though constantly shifting and rolling, percussion whilst they almost chant over it. In fact, actually, that’s pretty much all there is on the whole album – drums and synths. It still works though.
Something about it and a few other songs on the album like Brats reminds me of a spaced-out version of Vampire Weekend’s Diane Young, which is a really good song in it’s own right. Really, picking out individual songs from this album, with the exception of Brats, doesn’t really work. They all flow so neatly together and make such a cohesive whole that it feels like you’re offering up a seriously pared back experience of an already very pared-back album. If you listen to this then afterwards go, find the album and play the whole thing from the title track onwards – those synths just can’t afford to be missed.