$17.99 CD w/DVD
Drums Not Dead
||"Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack"
||"A Visit from Drum"
From New York City's Class of '01 rock bands --out of a berth
wide enough to include the Strokes, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Radio
4, Black Dice, and the Rapture, among others--Liars became the
de facto whipping post for all the change this period of music
instigated, good or bad. Eschewing the sporty dance rhythms that
made them known in favor of loose, haunted noise experiments on
They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (and ditching their original
rhythm section, now playing in NYC's n0 things, in the process),
Liars became pariahs of critics and a scene which had placed expectations
on them, which the band had no intention of filling. Their live
shows approached untold ferocity, bowling over those whose minds
were open enough to see past the red ink. Alas, with middle fingers
extended, the group retreated to different parts of the world
(namely, Berlin and Los Angeles) and patiently revisited their
Drums Not Dead is the result of that experience, and it
brings along brave measures of tension and minimalism the band
was never known for until now. Ostensibly a concept album, it's
the first Liars record that demands your undivided attention all
the way through, as its songs crash and bleed into one another
with thunderous drums against quavering drones. The easiest description
of where they've headed on this, their third full-length, is chiming,
martial mid-'80s Sonic Youth crosscut with the pagan pummel of
Crash Worship, or the collapsing-in-motion dynamics of Storm&Stress
coupled with the post-industrial street corner life buzz of TV
on the Radio; but it's not that easy of a record to pin down.
Largely reconvened around percussion and the dynamics of the human
voice, the group has made something unlike any of its previous
efforts, with clean sound, a performance mode free from traditional
song structures, and the most lucid head ever on its shoulders.
What you get here are bold movements of a musical battle between
creativity and doubt (one which we can assume was foisted upon
them by the public), smaller ideas built up and blown out to threatening,
monster-beneath-the-bed proportions, which sound fresh and exciting
even in their more familiar passages. The DVD includes three 45-minute
visual interpretations of the entire album, made by filmmaker
Markus Wambganss, and band members Angus Andrew and Julian Gross.