Highlights: No.1 Against The Rush, III Valley Prodigies, WIXIW
Something about the times, I guess. Liars are yet another one of those brilliant contemporaries that know how to do their thing and do that thing well. WIXIW is so masterful, so immaculate in its stylish, robotic melancholia that you might wish to put in a glass casket and exhibit in a museum alongside something as timeless as Closer. Too bad most of these songs don’t have nearly enough class to elevate them above ‘a very good indie album’.
This album (Liars’ 6th full-length release, I’m told) is an excellent collection of nocturnal post-punk grooves with an experimental, Can-like edge to it (forget about Tago Mago). The songs are dark, cold monoliths that make for an extremely engaging listen. Rewarding, too, because production-wise this stuff is so nuanced and complicated.
As for the melodies, they are definitely there (the brief “III Valley Prodigies” is a thing of beauty), but for all its inventiveness and undeniable quality, the only time when WIXIW threatens to be timeless is when the title track arrives. The structure, the melody, the instrumentation – it all falls in place, and with its delightful, swirling groove and world-weary charm, “WIXIW” sounds not unlike a superior modern-day Radiohead song. Truly this album’s “Decades”.
Liars are a good post-punk band, certainly a lot more interesting than Interpol, but at the end of day you’re left with one lingering thought that just won’t go away: WIXIW is more about execution than inspiration. Much as I hate to admit that. Because I genuinely quite liked the album.