Arts & Entertainment, The Muse

Liar Liars

New York-based Liars has come a long way since their dance-punk beginnings. Since their angular 2001 debut They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, Liars has released a concept album about witches, They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, the critically acclaimed percussive experimentation of Drum’s Not Dead and the comparatively straight-forward eponymous indie rock record Liars.

Its latest, Sisterworld, released last month on Mute Records, is a sort of pastiche of all the band’s previous styles: it has a bit of the spiky freakout from the debut, the eerie textures from They Were Wrong, and the rhythmic force of Drum’s Not Dead, as well as more dabbling in strings and with other production techniques.

The band executes tension and release more masterfully than ever on opener and first single “Scissor,”which is flecked with chamber orchestra horns and legions of frontman Angus Andrew’s creepy croon in its soft parts, and rocks out like Liars when the band comes in. In “No Barrier Fun,” strings weave in and out of disorienting synthesizers, creating a slight discordance with the rest of the instrumentation. “Drip” wobbles slowly with sparse percussion, and “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant” is an urgent sprint of distorted guitars and Andrew’s yelp.

This aural uneasiness permeates much of Liars’music, with an intriguing and inviting effect. The textures are unique, fleshed out with multiple vocal tracks and droning synths hovering in and out over the course of each song. Even more disorienting about Liars’ music is how pretty it can be: “I Still Can See an Outside World” lifts off with chiming, wavering guitars before kicking into a bridge run through with air-raid guitar imitating Andrew’s melodic murmur.

Liars is notable for its live shows, for which the band needs an abundance of pedals and gadgets to create the rich sound found on the records. Members may switch instruments, loop guitars or even pound on drums in unison, as the components of each song vary wildly. A live set from Liars is sure to be intense and diverse, especially given the fully formed nature of their latest record. You can catch them at the Paradise this Saturday, April 17. Doors open at 8 p.m. with Los Angeles-based indie pop band Fol Chen opening.

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