Liars at Paradise, February 8, 2008
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  February 12, 2008

On the eve of Liars’ current US tour, frontman Angus Andrew — an Aussie expat — threw out his back and was, by all accounts, immobile. Not good news for a band known for the primal intensity of their performances and the occasional frenetic acrobatics of their towering lead singer. Fortunately for the capacity crowd who caught them at the Paradise last Friday, Andrew’s tender spine didn’t dampen the now LA-based foursome’s considerable energy. Dapper as always, in a raspberry red suit, Andrew started the show seated in a chair, gesticulating with his arms as he sang, but in time he was up and about, strutting peacock-like around the stage.

Liars are known for taking risks and for their æsthetic unpredictability. In 2000 they were on the crest of the neo-post-punk wave, pushing it to an abstract limits by deconstructing verse/chorus/verse structures with a mix of electronic drums and synths and organic drums, bass, and guitar. So the surprising thing about their homonymous fourth album, on Mute, is the lack of surprises. Liars is their most straightforward, song-oriented release, with little of the discordant experimentation of its predecessors.

At the Paradise, the band mixed and matched old and new. The hazy, Jesus and Mary Chain–style rocker “Freak Out” and the quasi-metal “Plaster Casts of Everything” — both from Liars — gave them a chance to flex their rock muscles. But it was when they dipped into the apocalyptic funk of 2001’s They WereWrong,So We Drowned and 2006’s Drums Not Dead that the mix of tribal beats, screaming vocals, angular guitars, and, on “Let’s Wrestle,” two drummers reached full force. No surprise that Andrew couldn’t stay in his seat.

Related: Drums and wires, Liars | WIXIW, The experimental fusion of Liars, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Music Reviews,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   ASSAULT AND BATTERIES  |  February 20, 2009
    After a brief stint in Pittsburgh, guitarist and electronic musician GEOFF MULLEN is back in his native Rhode Island, and the New England music scene is so much the better for it.
  •   SO MUCH IN STORE  |  February 10, 2009
    Australia's the NECKS are the sort of band who thwart classification.
  •   A COMPROVISATIONAL WHAT?  |  February 02, 2009
    Local saxophonist and electronic-musician JORRIT DIJKSTRA combines a variety of styles ranging from jazz to electro-acoustic improv and noise to create his own emotive and often idiosyncratic music.
  •   WINTRY MIX  |  January 26, 2009
    There are so many interesting and unusual musical happenings this week, it's almost more than this little column can bear.
    Although composer JOHN CAGE is best known for 4'33" of silence, he could raise a ruckus when the mood struck.

 See all articles by: SUSANNA BOLLE