Monday, March 22, 2010


You ever see a horror film where a gate to an alternate dimension opens and some menacing force bleeds through? The ominous “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant,’’ from noise-rock outfit Liars, is the song the punk band at the hell mouth is playing just before the demonic tornado wipes out the town. It thrums with the chaotic purpose of a swarm of robotic bees. Or you might just say it’s a song about Los Angeles, a town fantastical and apocalyptic enough to stand in for any nightmare scenario. Surviving in that “land of lost dreams’’ is a theme that runs through “Sisterworld,’’ guitarist and vocalist Angus Andrew has said; it was written while living amid the city’s nightlife squalor. It’s not all pummeling noise here, however. “Too Much, Too Much’’ and “Drop Dead’’ unroll in undulating whorls of bright noise. “No Barrier Fun’’ clicks along like the busy cash register at some ghostly thrift shop for used souls. “Goodnight Everything’’ is a phantasmic symphony. But like everything else the band has done since it graduated at the top of New York City’s millennial post-punk class, the songs are sometimes off-putting material, requiring patience. Life in the underbelly usually does.

Boston Globe

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