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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


‘Sisterworld’ a masterpiece



Paper Bag Records

Released March 9, 2010

Score: A-


The band Liars is weird. Very, very weird. After jettisoning two original members, the band spent a month in a cabin in the woods of New Jersey to research forest witches and record an album about them. Then the trio went to East Germany to record an experimental drum-heavy record with an electronically modified drum kit in an old broadcasting station. Now, two albums later, Sisterworld shows that Liars has channeled their bizarre intentions into a personal best.

Liars’ sound has transformed over the years from dance-punk revivalist to atmospheric noise rock to its current state of experimental post-punk. Album opener “”Scissor”” sets the mood properly with its startling crescendo of piano and bass. The song is messy and abrasive yet painstakingly controlled.

Despite having only three members, Liars is still able to create vast sonic endeavors. “”Here Comes All the People”” begins with intensifying surf guitar, before adding whining strings and howls to produce a gothic groove. On Sisterworld, vocalist Angus Andrew has finally come into his own, with an unpredictable delivery. On “”No Barrier Fun,”” he transitions from stoic humming to bluesy growls to a distant croon.

The band’s songwriting has never been better. Gone are the pointless noises of their previous work on Drum’s Not Dead. Instead, the songs’ tempo shifts reflect a dynamic sense of atmospheric storytelling. The band’s experimentation exists for the sake of sonic expansion instead of sonic self-aggrandizing. Even the metallic hissing and whirrings of “”Goodnight Everything”” are transposed over brass and clean guitar to form a complicated — yet accessible — melody.

On album standouts “”Scarecrows on a Killer Slant”” and “”Proud Evolution,”” Liars capture the power of rock music without sacrificing their creativity. Both songs spotlight the unique drumming of Julian Gross alongside careful production. Instruments fade in and out accordingly, reflecting a strong sense of volume. The band’s aural transformations are thick with sound, a dizzying testament to the trio’s progressive vision.

Three years ago, Liars’ self-titled album captured the sound of a band on the cusp of understanding its own needs and limitations. It was a step forward for a group previously mired by its own self-importance. The release of Sisterworld marks the actualization of Liars as a band capable of its lofty musical aspirations. I don’t feel weird calling it their masterpiece.

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