Liars cordially invite you on a wondrous journey to Sisterworld

I can’t think of a band that revels in changing genre and tearing apart expectations quite like Liars. Since their 2001 debut, They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top, the band has seen changes that have taken them from the dance floor to German witch trials to “Mt. Heart Attack,” wherever that is. Their last album, the simply titled Liars, found them in a fist-pounding, foot-stomping madness. And just like an army brat’s parents, they’ve moved yet again.

Sisterworld doesn’t deviate too far from what you might expect from Liars. We have the sometimes droned, sometimes screamed, usually chanted lyrics overtop either sporadic and repetitive or seemingly random and ethereal music. And that’s just what’s normal for them. Unlike the intense, often terrifying worlds they’ve created before, Liars seem to have created this new world, Sisterworld, in which you have wandering curiosity, not-so-intense fear and moments of beautiful serenity. That might not sound too different from the real world, but remember, this is Liars. And as the name might suggest, this is a world very much like our own, but with some stark differences. Weird differences I’m not so sure I’ll ever understand, but that I’ll gladly listen to.

It doesn’t take a lot of instruments or heavy studio work to make a Liars song. On Sisterworld, the band utilizes very basic synth to set up the cosmic, ethereal nature of the songs, then lays down sporadic percussion and simple, wandering guitar lines with droning lyrics that together set up a very loose and honest psychedelia. Unlike the other grandiose psych bands of today, Liars rely on a very stripped-down approach that always looks in before even daring to look out to the listener. You kind of get the feeling that you’re being invited to walk around their personal playground for a hour. That playground just happens to be full of all kinds of strange and wonderful things.

Sisterworld isn’t as strong as some of the other Liars releases. It spends too much time exploring and not enough time showing us what they found. It also lacks some kind of unifying factor that would tie the tracks together better as a more solid unit. But the album still works well and still takes you to the weird places Liars create. But instead of being forced down that road to Sisterworld, as is typical Liars fashion, you’re cordially invited. You can call me a masochist if you want, but I’d rather have the gun at my back.

Liars – “No Barrier Fun” [MP3]

Liars – “Scissor” [MP3]

Buy Sisterworld on Amazon

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