No one could accuse LA’s Liars of following a rock rulebook. It may have seemed the trio were content to plough a heavy riff furrow on 2010’s Sisterworld, but that followed three albums of intermittent noise, humming and ear-shredding. WIXIW appears to take the colours of “dance” for its palette and, when these come through clearest, the album works best.
Things begin with frontman Angus Andrew ushering in a sound that seems organic, with numerous pulsing synths (noticeably Portishead-esque on No 1 Against The Rush). Gunshots and birdsong on III Valley Prodigies adds to a feeling of “found” sound or art, and the mood seems warm, even optimistic. His And Mine Sensations promises a euphoric climax but never quite delivers, always teasing the listener. Yet, by the penultimate track, Brats, the mission statement seems to be one of “shut up and dance”, Andrew’s voice at odds with what’s essentially a house track exploding behind his scorched tones.
While Liars’ often abrasive, usually confusing sound will never – ever – be to everyone’s taste, WIXIW is the best possible in-road for the uninitiated curious, all at once varied and coherent; fun, yet serious in its attempts at furthering their aesthetic.