Review: Liars @ Brighton Music Hall (5/10/14)

By Joanna Trachtenberg 

I recently saw Liars at Brighton Music Hall. I hadn’t seen them since 2008 and this was worth the wait. As I was waiting I saw a guy up on the stage setting some equipment up. I soon found out that was not a guy after all and that actually was Jana Hunter. I knew of Jana Hunter being the frontwoman of Lower Dens. As a solo artist she sounded more stripped down. It was just her with a guitar and a drum machine. She started her set with a cover of Hall & Oates’s Maneater. The rest of her songs were new songs that she wrote for Lower Dens. Right before Liars went on, the lights dimmed and projections started up on the screen behind the stage. Each band member came out and last to emerge was Angus Andrew wearing a maskhat made of colorful yarn like what is on the cover of their new album Mess and all the promo pics leading up to the album’s release. They started with some songs from Mess. This album as well as their last one are more electronically based. I think the new one is a bit more aggressive than its predecessor. The songs got the crowd bouncing. They just went through song after song until their set ended after about an hour. Personally I think they should have played longer. I was hoping to hear some of their really old songs from their first couple albums.

Liars’s Setlist
Perpetual Village
Pro Anti Anti
Mask Maker
Let’s Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
I’m No Gold
No 1 Against the Rush
Vox Turned D.E.D.
WIXIW
Mess On A Mission
Brats
Plaster Casts of Everything
Freak Out

CD Review: Sisterworld (2010)

Band: Liars
Release: 2010
Label: Mute

1. “Scissor” – C
2. “No Barrier Fun” – D+
3. “Here Comes All The People” – C
4. “Drip” – D+
5. “Scarecrows On A Killer Slant” – B-
6. “I Still Can See An Outside World” – C+
7. “Proud Evolution” – B
8. “Drop Dead” – B-
9. “The Overachievers” – B+
10. “Goodnight Everything” – C
11. “Too Much, Too Much” – B-

Comments: Based on what I’ve read about Liars, I was expecting something along the lines of No Age on this album. I hate the term “alternative rock,” but does this boil down to anything other than that? It’s the kind of freaky experimental rock that wouldn’t disappoint metal-heads or hard-rockers who appreciate sub-mainstream modern roll. I have more fun listening to Lady Gaga than this! But wait! After four miserable tunes, things brighten up for these folk who now call Berlin there home. They change-up their style from straight up eclectic to pop-eclectic (art rock). “Scarecrows” is a kind of ode to the noise-surf of Wavves. It still blows (a little bit), but it’s a very nice departure. “I Still” is the equivalent of aVeckatimest B-Side until some fuzzy noise enters. I can definitely see bitchfuck media raving about this album in the same way they did Veckatimest, perhaps hailing it as some major breakthrough experimental crossover in “chill-wave” or whatever the kids are going to call it in 20-10s since “chill-wave”  is soooo 2009. “Proud Evolution” is Liars’ best attempt at duplicating The Verve’s sound. It’s a corny repetitive ditty that is admittedly somewhat catchy thanks to it’s rock solid beat. You can only be so artsy before becoming too corny. I’ll give them props on “The Overachievers.” That’s a really catchy one. For freaks sake, they should just cut to the chase and open up with noise. Quit messing around!

Final Grade: C (76)