Garrett Harris 9:03 p.m., May 23
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Liars is a three-piece dance-punk band formed in 2000 consisting of Filipino-born Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), and Julian Gross (drums). The genesis of the band can be traced to Los Angeles, where Andrew and Gross were enrolled at Cal Arts, studying photography and graphic design, respectively. Hemphill had studied microbiology in Junior College in San Diego, but was employed in LA at a record store.
Upon meeting, Andrew and Hemphill began their collaboration on four-track recordings. Once Andrew had completed art school, they relocated to New York together. Although Gross was not a member of Liars' NYC-period roster, he was often taken along on tour for hawking the merchandise and providing comedic banter. For the time being, two musicians from Nebraska, Pat Noecker (bass, formerly of Neuromancer, Urethra Franklin, and Opium Taylor) and Ron Albertson (drums, formerly of Mercy Rule), filled out the band's rhythm section after responding to a well-placed want ad.
This line-up (Andrew/Hemphill/Noecker/Albertson) released the first Liars full-length, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, in October 2001. As a four-piece, Liars were only to release two more short EPs.
Due to differences of creative methods, it was agreed that Noecker and Albertson would leave the band to pursue other work. Both joined the short-lived band No Things. Meanwhile, Andrew and Hemphill reunited with Gross to form the next incarnation of Liars. The first release from Liars as a three-piece was a split EP with the band Oneida, called Atheists, Reconsider (released December 2002 by the Arena Rock Recording Co.). Liars contributed a cover of Oneida's "Rose and Licorice," as well as two originals. "Dorothy Taps the Foot of the Tinman" is a 7+ minute sound collage of kitchen-sink percussion, ambient drones and static, and cut and paste spoken words.
This newfound experimentation paved the way for Liars' next full-length album, They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (recorded in March and May 2003, released February 2004). The band relocated to a cabin in the woods of New Jersey for the recording sessions,
The band relocated once again to Berlin where they would eventually record their third full-length, Drum's Not Dead (recorded in 2004, released February 2006).
The album Liars was released August 28, 2007 on Mute Records. After relocating yet again, this time to San Diego, their 2010 album Sisterworld was written and recorded in Los Angeles with Jon Brion collaborator Tom Biller.