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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Girl, Another Planet
A lot has changed since Liars' debut landed nine or so years ago. The world has become smaller and Liars have resolutely spread themselves across it. Forming in LA, they left for New York and recorded their second album in Berlin. Sisterworld is their fifth and reportedly refers to Liars' "own space, completely devoid of influence". So, what therefore of Liars'...
Published on 12 Mar 2010 by Gannon

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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rockier, but still leftfield and experimental at it
I must stress for some of amazon.co.uk customers that it is not an album that you can safely listen while driving your car. Apparently some amazon.co.uk listen to their CDs while driving their cars. Well, while driving my car, I much prefer to listen to the radio. You know, new songs, new bands and the occasional announcement for a dreadful roadblock. Anyway, I first came...
Published on 8 Sep 2010 by Stan FREDO


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Girl, Another Planet, 12 Mar 2010
By 
Gannon (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sisterworld (Audio CD)
A lot has changed since Liars' debut landed nine or so years ago. The world has become smaller and Liars have resolutely spread themselves across it. Forming in LA, they left for New York and recorded their second album in Berlin. Sisterworld is their fifth and reportedly refers to Liars' "own space, completely devoid of influence". So, what therefore of Liars' ever-shifting back catalogue? If Sisterworld is their ground zero, what next for their capricious post-punk, krautrock, indie ambience and explosive noise?

Well, gone is the primal excitement of their eponymous offering, gone is the blistering punk-funk of the debut, gone too are the proggish, artsy explorations that enlivened their They Were Wrong, So We Drowned album. In their place we find a chilling orchestra, paranoid arrangements and claustrophobic beats that supposedly mirror a version of modern day LA. This is Sisterworld.

Opening in atmospheric but creepy harmonies, "Scissor" explodes into bass-heavy beats and drone before returning to gentle organ and soothing woodwind patterns. "No Barrier Fun" is altogether creepier, tripping along on beats with a haunting DJ Shadow-type overlay. Andrew is velvety yet disturbed throughout, and it works well capping a strong start.

Sisterworld here becomes a little more predictable, reverting to quiet-loud arrangements and mildly funky yet disquieting ambience, and both "Here Come All The People" and "Drip" do this trick satisfactorily. We happily plunge back into the gloom for "Scarecrows On A Killer Street", a track that grew from Andrew's real life witnessing of a murder, and the track is the most likely to appeal to those fans of their more abrasive material. It screeches, pulses and hurtles through Drum's Not Dead-level noise-rock, smashing the results into They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top-like dance-punk. "I Still Can See An Outside World" is primarily a lullaby as sung by the neighbourhood weirdo before in crash the guitars and heavy drumming to form a track more effective than it first appears.

Atmospheric rattles and slow plucked guitar align "Proud Evolution" with a Nick Cave soundtrack. Throughout its five minutes, it turns into a slow building krautrocker with shoegazish droning as the title is rhythmically chanted and looped around increasingly fractured, pulsing and manic layering. Those aboard the good ship These New Puritans may well find favour in Sisterworld's heavy beats and its new-age Gothic, and "Drop Dead" picks up where "No Barrier Fun" left off, curiously rhythmic yet slyly menacing and driven on by bass played a few revolutions too slow. Ideally, it's where Interpol could have headed after Turn On The Bright Lights, it's a creepy extension which would perhaps have befit them more than kohl-linered disco ultimately did.

"The Overachievers" is back in noise-punk territory but pales a little against Sisterworld's rich tapestry, whereas "Goodnight Everything" reprises the dusty, tense soundtrack feel of "Proud Evolution" drifting along on bassoon until the inevitable guitar licks arrive to bully their way for attention. The drums' arrival shows both who's boss and stamp their authority monolithically on this frazzled psych-rocker. The Sisterworld showcase closes with "Too Much, Too Much", a more optimistic number that chimes into being, rising like a purifying sun as the guitars build into a relaxed and diaphanous crescendo and ambient outro.

Oscar Wilde called all influence "immoral", not allowing one's true colours to shine through. Sisterworld is supposedly without it, but this is not strictly true for we are dealing with Liars. Angus Andrew has always almost sounded like TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, and on Sisterworld his soulful impersonation is his closest effort yet. And the TVOTR connection doesn't stop there. Just as the underwhelming Dear Science broke Adebimpe's collective into the pseudo-mainstream after several edgier attempts, so may Sisterworld do for Liars. It's edgy sure, the big beats confirm it, but Sisterworld is a reflection of an alternate LA, and when their guard is down Liars sometimes forget which side of the mirror they're on.

The bonus remix disc available on the special edition is naturally a mixed bag. Some run with the funkier elements of the Liars' catalogue, other with their outsider tendencies. A treat for the completist sure, but not strictly necessary.

1. "Scissor (Pink Dollaz, Lance Whitaker & Transformation Surprise)" - 2:42
2. "No Barrier Fun (Duetonal aka Alan Vega of Suicide)" - 3:00
3. "Here Comes All the People (Atlas Sound aka Bradford Cox)" - 6:29
4. "Drip (Kazu Makino of Blonde Redhead)" - 4:07
5. "Scarecrows on a Killer Slant (Tunde Adebimpe of TV On The Radio)" - 2:30
6. "I Still Can See an Outside World (Boyd Rice of NON)" - 3:44
7. "Proud Evolution (Thom Yorke 500qd Remix)" - 6:00
8. "Drop Dead (Fol Chen)" - 3:52
9. "The Overachievers (Devendra Banhart and the Grogs)" - 4:22
10. "Goodnight Everything (Melvins)" - 5:05
11. "Too Much, Too Much (Carter Tutti of Throbbing Gristle)" - 4:28
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liars - Creeping tension is the order of the day, 10 Mar 2010
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sisterworld (Audio CD)
When I first heard the excellent "Scissor" by Liars I actually thought it was TV on the Radio. A slow burn anthem with backing vocals somewhat similar to the latter's "Love dog" suddenly explodes into a controlled cacophony which becomes a theme throughout the album. Quiet/loud is back with a vengeance although I think it safe to say that songs like the ambient and cool "Too much, too much" one of the albums highlights owes more to the Cocteau Twins than it does the Pixies.

Liars are a three-piece American band consisting of Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), Julian Gross (drums) and Philippine-born Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar)and lean to avant garde post-punk songs steeped in creeping tension and a challenging often dark jagged dysfunction

This apparently is the bands fifth album which is news to me since I had never heard of them prior to "Scissor". Perhaps other Amazonites will point me in the direction of the best of their previous work because frankly if it is as good as the best parts of this album then the time spent investigating will be hugely profitable. There are a couple of duds on here not least "I can see an outside world" which meanders for at least half the song and then does the quiet/loud formula by which time I had lost interest and the cat needed feeding. Similarly easy listening it is not. "No Barrier Fun" sounds like it could have been on Tricky's "Maxinquaye" or Portishead's "Third", its the soundtrack to dark under-paths, subways and urban decay.

Sisterworld is a broody and sometimes claustrophobic album (checkout the latent violence in "Scarecrows On A Killer Slant" although you can sing along to the chorus!). Not an an album then for that day when the boss is being prat, you have missed the bus or the hole in the wall has swallowed your card. This is a very challenging listen but with its own distinctive and compelling rewards.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Girl, Another Planet, 12 Mar 2010
By 
Gannon (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sisterworld (Audio CD)
A lot has changed since Liars' debut landed nine or so years ago. The world has become smaller and Liars have resolutely spread themselves across it. Forming in LA, they left for New York and recorded their second album in Berlin. Sisterworld is their fifth and reportedly refers to Liars' "own space, completely devoid of influence". So, what therefore of Liars' ever-shifting back catalogue? If Sisterworld is their ground zero, what next for their capricious post-punk, krautrock, indie ambience and explosive noise?

Well, gone is the primal excitement of their eponymous offering, gone is the blistering punk-funk of the debut, gone too are the proggish, artsy explorations that enlivened their They Were Wrong, So We Drowned album. In their place we find a chilling orchestra, paranoid arrangements and claustrophobic beats that supposedly mirror a version of modern day LA. This is Sisterworld.

Opening in atmospheric but creepy harmonies, "Scissor" explodes into bass-heavy beats and drone before returning to gentle organ and soothing woodwind patterns. "No Barrier Fun" is altogether creepier, tripping along on beats with a haunting DJ Shadow-type overlay. Andrew is velvety yet disturbed throughout, and it works well capping a strong start.

Sisterworld here becomes a little more predictable, reverting to quiet-loud arrangements and mildly funky yet disquieting ambience, and both "Here Come All The People" and "Drip" do this trick satisfactorily. We happily plunge back into the gloom for "Scarecrows On A Killer Street", a track that grew from Andrew's real life witnessing of a murder, and the track is the most likely to appeal to those fans of their more abrasive material. It screeches, pulses and hurtles through Drum's Not Dead-level noise-rock, smashing the results into They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top-like dance-punk. "I Still Can See An Outside World" is primarily a lullaby as sung by the neighbourhood weirdo before in crash the guitars and heavy drumming to form a track more effective than it first appears.

Atmospheric rattles and slow plucked guitar align "Proud Evolution" with a Nick Cave soundtrack. Throughout its five minutes, it turns into a slow building krautrocker with shoegazish droning as the title is rhythmically chanted and looped around increasingly fractured, pulsing and manic layering. Those aboard the good ship These New Puritans may well find favour in Sisterworld's heavy beats and its new-age Gothic, and "Drop Dead" picks up where "No Barrier Fun" left off, curiously rhythmic yet slyly menacing and driven on by bass played a few revolutions too slow. Ideally, it's where Interpol could have headed after Turn On The Bright Lights, it's a creepy extension which would perhaps have befit them more than kohl-linered disco ultimately did.

"The Overachievers" is back in noise-punk territory but pales a little against Sisterworld's rich tapestry, whereas "Goodnight Everything" reprises the dusty, tense soundtrack feel of "Proud Evolution" drifting along on bassoon until the inevitable guitar licks arrive to bully their way for attention. The drums' arrival shows both who's boss and stamp their authority monolithically on this frazzled psych-rocker. The Sisterworld showcase closes with "Too Much, Too Much", a more optimistic number that chimes into being, rising like a purifying sun as the guitars build into a relaxed and diaphanous crescendo and ambient outro.

Oscar Wilde called all influence "immoral", not allowing one's true colours to shine through. Sisterworld is supposedly without it, but this is not strictly true for we are dealing with Liars. Angus Andrew has always almost sounded like TV On The Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, and on Sisterworld his soulful impersonation is his closest effort yet. And the TVOTR connection doesn't stop there. Just as the underwhelming Dear Science broke Adebimpe's collective into the pseudo-mainstream after several edgier attempts, so may Sisterworld do for Liars. It's edgy sure, the big beats confirm it, but Sisterworld is a reflection of an alternate LA, and when their guard is down Liars sometimes forget which side of the mirror they're on.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rockier, but still leftfield and experimental at it, 8 Sep 2010
By 
Stan FREDO (BORDEAUX, Aquitaine, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Sisterworld (Audio CD)
I must stress for some of amazon.co.uk customers that it is not an album that you can safely listen while driving your car. Apparently some amazon.co.uk listen to their CDs while driving their cars. Well, while driving my car, I much prefer to listen to the radio. You know, new songs, new bands and the occasional announcement for a dreadful roadblock. Anyway, I first came across Liars around the time of the first LP (They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top), during a festival around my place. I thought they were really good - That night they quite blew The Rapture (then at their 'House of Jealous Lovers' peak) off stage - and I bought every album they released ever since. But I have to state that when I have to pick one of my 3,500+ LPs and CDs for a spin, I never dig out one by Liars. Listening to Liars is quite demanding. And I like to chill out, sing, dance, play air guitar but not that much scratch my head while listening to music. So, respect and all to Liars but after 3 or 4 initial spins, this 2-CD album will safely rest in the pile. I might check them out live, though.
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