A rabbit hole of electronic experimentation.
Liars are one of the few bands associated with New York's post-Millennial post-punk revival scene to remain artistically viable in the 2010s, probably because they've never ceased to follow their own maverick id through numerous sonic reincarnations. WIXIW (pronounced "Wish You"), their foray into electronic music, thankfully doesn't reek of the "look what else we can do" superfluity common to such experiments. Each song is like a descent into a different rabbit hole, as Liars find manifold ways to deconstruct and recreate themselves through sharp digitization. Like the sculptures of H.R. Giger, the piston pulse and worming rhythms of "Octagon" blend the mechanical and the organic in an unidentifiably unsettling fashion; the mix of percussive scuttle and embryotic ambience might even make Richard D. James squirm. Elsewhere, the snotty future punk of "Brats" and "Ring On Every Finger" use the Lord of the Flies vibe of Liars' preceding LP Sisterworld as a jumping-off point, empowering the childlike creepiness of the songs' repetitious melodies with a chillingly mechanized efficiency. Conversely, the title track, album-opener "The Exact Colour of Doubt," and "No. 1 Against the Rush" find Liars counterbalancing gray soundscapes with frontman Angus Andrew's primal, impassioned presence, resulting in an emotional richness that manages to evoke the resigned stateliness of Berlin-era Bowie while still feeling wholly original. Though a few tracks seemingly never made it past the sketch stage, Liars have made yet another immersive album that sounds like nothing they've done before, but couldn't be mistaken for the work of anyone else.
|No. 1 Against the Rush|