Liars are many things to many people. To some, they are that infuriating band that creates frantic experimental music that they cannot possibly get into. For others, they are one of the most experimental, creative and fascinating bands currently playing. What they aren’t is boring. I unabashedly fall in the camp that adores Liars. My wife is staunchly planted in the camp that can’t stand them.
In many ways I never thought the band would get to The Sister World, their fifth full-length release. They always seem to be at tension, and rumours of their demise have gone around the internet world more than once. But they soldier on — and in my opinion, are getting better and better.
Their most recent release, The Sister World, finds the band returning to their apparent comfort zone, the concept album. They do this in a way that works in some of the poppiness that came out of nowhere on their last release, Liars. At times on The Sister World I hear legit comparisons to TV on the Radio — but TV on the Radio as it would be done by Mike Patton, if you catch my drift.
This album is about the alternative spaces people create in order to survive in Los Angeles. It’s a fascinating concept, but one I was not aware of during my first several listens to the album. With that knowledge, however, The Sister World takes on more depth, becoming darker, creepier and — like most Liars albums — more frantic. The listener is left to figure out what is fact and what is fiction, what is reality and what is imagined — or maybe the truth lies somewhere in between.
Still, as the band soldiers on into their second decade together, they have learned some lessons that make their music that much more of an awesome experience. Maybe making a pop — or perhaps better put, an anti-pop — album like they did on the last record is one reason why. Here they seem to change gears just as much as before, but in a less chaotic fashion. I’ve already seen a few friends who have always been iffy on Liars become obsessed with The Sister World.
We at TWM have their date at Lee’s Palace circled: Weds Sept 29th. I have always wanted to see this band live and I’ve never had the chance — that changes on the 29th. Their Canadian dates are listed below AND we are supposed to be doing an interview with the band closer to the 29th. So stay tuned for that!
Weds Sept 29th – Lee’s Palace (Toronto ON)
Thurs Sept 30th – Le National (Montreal QB)
Friday Oct 1st – Ritual (Ottawa ON)
Sat Oct 2nd – This Ain’t Hollywood (Hamilton ON)
Photo by Kate Gardiner, via Creative Commons