Drum's Not Dead

In 2004, the then Brooklyn-based trio of Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross had the indie world decrying, "Liars, Liars, dance-punk's on fire." Liars' 2001 debut was unswerving thunk drawing on Factory Records and tri-borough funk. But, following personnel shifts, Liars' sophomore full-length emerged to unfair critical derision. Now Liars' lead-foot beats remain absent, but the spooked angularities and Krautrock klang are honed in to a resolute song-cycle on creative doubts and defiance. Recorded while sequestered in Berlin, Drum's contused, somatic dissent echoes assertively in both stereo and as accompanying surround sound DVD abstractions. As for coda "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack," this tender counterpoint acts as both closure and erasure. Like LCD Soundsystem's closer "Great Release," Liars' contemplative postscript further deepens a once-snotty band's paranoid musings into now deservingly acknowledged, nuanced chiaroscuro. 4 stars

Liars play the Drunken Unicorn Mon., May 22, with Apes and Deerhunter.


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