liars-album

From the forced isolation of a log cabin to the lockup underneath a Los Angeles overpass, Liars’ dedication to mixing things up is admirable. Six albums in and still prepared to hole themselves up with a suite of unknown digital programmes to fathom and a determination to collaborate and work through things together, ‘WIXIW’ is the fearless, direct testimony to that conviction. Far less tense and wracked with a sense of impending anxiety, this is an album that’s electronic heavy and sample-based. And although there are some tender moments on the swim of ‘The Exact Colour of Doubt’ and the wilting ‘Who is the Hunter’, Liars’ intention to drive technology into the heart of their music has some reward.

‘Octagon’ is the techno-mutterings of ‘Kid A’ era Radiohead, the doubt, anxiety and mild euphoria on ‘No.1 Against the Rush’ makes for a solid understated contrast, and The Rapture meets NiN of ‘Brats’ deals a dose of droning industrial atmospherics against a buzzsaw beat that just won’t quit. Self-confessed slaves to change, the band are still prone to arty moments of wild experimentation, as on the Soap & Skin nightmare of title track ‘WIXIW’, but, as always, Liars’ penchant for smokescreens and mystification maintains their hallmark allure. Preening or perplexing, Liars are still one of the bravest bands around.

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