Release Date: 1/6/2012
More electronic and more measured but just as skeptical, Liars' 6th album is their most human yet
It seems both a disturbing and bizarre prospect that in a few years time computers could be directly shaping and controlling human emotions, and to some extent that notion already has weight. The ever growing demand for computers and such technological advancements plus consumerism suggests that technology governs life almost
overbearingly in a lot of households already, a fact which isn't that easy to deny. We live in and are becoming more of an electronic world.
Visionary LA noise- punks Liars seem to have jumped on the "screen and button" mad bandwagon on their sixth full length "WIXIW" ( pronounced "Wish You"), and it's an interesting contradiction. Before, Liars' bleak and outlandish vocal tales of post- apocalyptic Earth and murderous scarecrows was accompanied startlingly fittingly by their appetite for sheer noise terror. On "WIXIW" it seems strange that the band's most emotionally direct (when considering the human condition) should garner a backing track that is the band's most electronic effort yet.
The trio have almost entirely dropped the guitars here in favour of gorgeous, textured layers of synth ("No.1 Against the Rush"), lurching, paranoid dance- hall ("A Ring on Every Finger") and ugly dungeon- suited dance- punk ("Brats"). "Octagon" is characterized by Burial- esque squelches that sound like they're coming from 5 miles below the ocean surface whilst Middle Eastern influenced synths swoon in and out. Album highlight "Who Is The Hunter?" begins life as a lone reverberating bass line and and Angus Andrews' high- pitched ruminations sounding desperately lonely, before the song evolves into and understated fusion of electronic tropics.
The most interesting thing about "WIXIW" however is that it's the first time in ages that we've heard Liars address relevant human emotions. On lead- off single "No.1 Against The Rush" Andrews intones eerily "I want you/ I want you out" when reflecting on a broken down relationship whilst beautiful layers of synth prettiness glow and flutter in the background. On the title track Andrews makes the somewhat upsetting acknowledgement that "Now I know it's not enough/ I wish you were here with me." Only really the furious "Brats" with its mechanical, pulverizing synth grind and thunderous beat reverts back back to the Liars of old.
Liars are one of the few bands who certainly haven't exhausted the notion of a concept album, but they're also one of the few bands who realize that it's a dangerous cornerstone to dwell on. What's most brilliant about "WIXIW" is that Liars have found a lot of new ground whilst encompassing the creepiness that characterised them as such an essential, innovative part of the LA scene, and the indie scene in general. They're just one of those bands who will probably always find ways to do something different and interesting, and "WIXIW" certainly shouldn't leave anyone in much doubt of that.
Download: "Who Is The Hunter?" "No.1 Against The Rush" "Flood To Flood"