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So the new Liars album sounds exactly right whilst reading about a 12-year-old Indiana girl tortured and killed by an impromptu gang of female teens. But that's not the surprising part. No, the surprising part is how I turned it on after hours at my day job, empty quiet cubicles with computer hum, and it sucked all the energy out of the room. Right into those twin tinny speakers with the volume I cranked to three-quarters megablast and still could hardly hear. Then I realized I was getting sucked by one side of my head toward those speakers and only frantic pawing at the mouse saved me from a dump down this drain.

Lead liar Angus Andrew stands six-foot-Jesus-God and probably got pissed off from having to stoop everywhere after puberty. Yes, he's hung up on violence and blood and hate and serial killers and, yes, the album's more than a little noisy. Unlike most such combos, though, Andrew and his merry men shred your defenses, painting you with whatever gory brush they favor for a given cut. "Scarecrows on a Killer Slant" forges the album's centerpiece: guitars smush like leaking pustules, feedback whistles almost sweetly behind the riffing, and Andrew's calling you on every nasty thing you've ever done, that stuff you don't think about unless you take confession. Presto chango, now the singer justifies all his own sins, off your complicity.

If this sounds like spending a weekend with Hannibal Lecter, you're not far off. But tell me the truth: wouldn't you like to spend a weekend with Hannibal Lecter, provided, naturally, that you could shut the door on him when/if you like. There's the stop button for Sisterworld right under your fingers. I'm betting you won't push it. But I'm also betting you'll be grateful it's there.

  • Album: Sisterworld (2010)
  • Artist: Liars
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • Songs: (1) Scissor (2) No Barrier Fun (3) Here Comes All the People (4) Drip (5) Scarecrows on a Killer Slant (6) I Still Can See An Outside World (7) Proud Evolution (8) Drop Dead (9) The Overachievers (10) Goodnight Everything (11) Too Much, Too Much
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Russ Lewis March 17, 2010 @ 1:18 p.m.

Well. Very evocative writing -- evocative of all things dark and disgusting. That was the point, I'm sure.


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