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Liars - They threw us all in a trench and stuck a monument on top (Blast First/Mute)

New York's Liars are a strange bunch. 'Grown men don't fall in the river, just like that' could be Amen fronted by a seriously pissed off Damon Albarn. 'Tumbling walls buried me in the debris with ESG' is a hypnotic mess, while the superbly titled 'Mr your on fire Mr' is like Therapy?'s 'Teethgrinder' being sung by a punk with a sore throat. It's full of stops, starts, fills and an enticing hi-hat rhythm. They've been described previously as a dance punk band whose live shows are apparently "chaotic, unpredictable and a truly unique experience". That's what it says on the press release anyway.

Whatever they are, I know one thing. After listening to this album once, it begs you to listen to it again. It's been in and out of my stereo a lot over the past few weeks and on each listen to seems to reveal slightly more of itself to me. What at first seems like a perfectly normal unlayered yet caustic track suddenly opens up to its black core and takes on a new form. There's something strange going on here beneath the bulging bass lines, shrapnel spitting guitars and raw vocals. Maybe by their next album, they'll have found what it is and exploited it to its full potential. For now they'll just have to make do with being a curio. The thing is, though, I know that, the more I listen to this, the more special it's going to get.

Ken McGrath

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