Artist of the Week: Liars
Liars (2000) are a power trio formed by Angus Andrew (vocals and guitar), Aaron Hemphill (synth, guitar and percussion) and Julian Gross (drums). The band is known for their twisted sense of humor and stylistic shifts between albums, maintaining nevertheless a constant focus in rhythm patterns and textures.
Liars started out as a typical dance-punk guitar-bass-drums combo and 2001’s They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top showcased angular and danceable songs that reminded the funky groove of classic acts such as Gang of Four and A Certain Ratio. The band followed their well-received first album with two of the most divisive, fascinating and experimental conceptual records of the new millennium: 2004’s witch folklore-inspired and polyphonic They Were Wrong, So We Drowned and 2006’s electroacoustic and guitar-ambient driven Drum’s Not Dead. For their next couple of records, Liars would drop (most of) their heavy concepts and release two perfect and distinct distillations of their noisy art-rock sound: one poppier and smaller-scaled (2007’s Liars) and another one subtler and more abstract (2010’s Sisterworld).
Mess, Liars’ seventh and new album, is a ferocious, warped and fierce dance-music excursion that takes no casual listeners for hostage, trading the subtle electronic textures explored in 2012’s WIXIW for dense synths and hammered beats. They could have named this one Dance Punk’s Not Dead.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.