Liars – Sisterworld

This is another of those reviews of a band with a large back catalogue and a hefty reputation, where I am somewhat out of my depth because I just haven’t really made the time to sit down and listen to their stuff before.

Hardcore fans might disagree with me of course, and I am in no position to argue, but this is a pretty good place to start if you’re going to investigate a band.  It’s bloody good anyway, whether or not it’s all that representative of their older stuff.

Musically, Sisterworld is a right mess; it’s a tight, impeccably controlled mess, but a mess nevertheless.  Awkward noises bristle along, only to be battered aside by an onslaught of dirty guitars and yelped vocals.  That rush of noise is hardly helter-skelter though, instead giving the impression of tethered aggression still barely on the leash.

Rumbling cellos snap in and out of this distorted swagger, giving it another thread of taut discipline, all brimming with threat and unease, and if it kept up like that all record this would be one of the best things I’d heard in fucking ages, but unfortunately it doesn’t.

Those breakouts into cacophony bring the threat of violence to the simmering glare of the earlier songs, as you know that at any point the glower might erupt into a racket of noise, but these moments are less and less vicious and rather less frequent as the album progresses.  This not only allows the momentum to dissipate a little, but rather emasculates the sense of threat in the quieter parts.  I suppose what it does is rob the emotional journey of the sudden twists in direction which had kept me on the edge of my seat for the first two thirds of the album or so.

Consequently, by the end I consistently find myself losing the sense of exhilaration which the first half of the record ignited, but I’d still say that this was bloody good and I am definitely going to get me some more Liars!

Liars – No Barrier Fun

Liars – Scissor

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