Music » Critics' Picks

The Liars with Brain Transplant and the Star Death

Monday, March 18; Way Out Club


What comes around goes around, it is true. The best hope is that what comes back around didn't suck in the first place and that the interesting ideas that go around return with a renewed vigor and some sort of aesthetic evolution. In other words, here's to interesting rehash and obnoxious rejuvenation.

NYC's Liars (not to be confused with Boston's Lyres) could maybe be tagged post-decade-that-punk-broke punk, or post-post-post-punk. But what to call them doesn't matter. What does matter is that they've listened to a buttload of Gang of Four, Killing Joke and Birthday Party -- the herky-jerky late-'70s/early-'80s post-punk that one-upped the first-wave Brit stuff by messing with structure and sound, by stretching the limits of the music -- and have merged this bass-and-pound vision with rough rhythms and the bellicose throat of one Angus (yes, he's from Australia) Andrew.

On their debut, the wonderfully titled They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top (Gern Blandsten), the Liars reinforce their rock with a superheavy Nebraskan bottom end (drummer Ron Albertson, whom old-schoolers may remember from his days pounding for Lincoln's Mercy Rule; and bassist Pat Noecker, ex of Opium Taylor). The result could perhaps stretch a bit further from their obvious influences but is sturdy enough to stand well on its own. The Liars' live show is rumored to be amazing, and if they do a version of "We Live NE of Compton," pay attention. It sounds like the Nuge's "Stranglehold" -- in hell.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.