How do you feel about conceptual art? The question is important because it will ultimately determine your opinion on Liars fourth album.
In 2001, Martin Creed won the Turner Prize for his "Work No. 227: The lights going on and off.". Some hailed it as a comically slight, earnest work which contained subversive wit and served to cause frustration or peace depending on the viewers mindset. Others described it as being "A good way to raise money from idiots in order to replace the light bulb." If you are of the former catagory, please read Review A, for the latter Review B.
Upon the commencement of Liars self-titled album, they cunningly use the first two tracks in an obsequious attempt to reel in the more mainstream minded listeners. The agony of the band being constrained by melody is apparent and serves to inject a sense of emotion into even these songs, tainted with the vulgar smell of commerciality. "Houseclouds" goes as far as to invoke musical elements similar to 'pop' artists such as Kasabian to truly assert their disdain for the state of modern culture.
Happily, the band free themselves from the shackles with the arrival of opus number three. "Leather Prowler" constructs a remarkable sense of unease about it, utilising repetitive chants to create an vitriolic air, one which is heightened by the seemingly random influx of clashing piano keys detuned to perfection. Not content with this, the buzzsaw of machinery and startling yelps surface from the background. Something which may parallel the unlocking of horrendous childhood memories, long repressed but now forcing themselves to the light with avengeance.
As they continue upon their intangible journey, Liars are imbued with a mocking attitude, offering the glimpse of melody long sought after by followers of their deplorable early sound before snatching it away and piling ever more layers of cacophonic experimentalism upon their ingenious compositions. They have indeed crafted the antithesis to everything else with this album, and should be lauded as the saviours of music, saviours from the downward spiral of its neverending obsession with melody.
Liars sees a group of nonces attempt to induce sounds out of instruments they have little idea of how to play. Their fourth album is a continuation of their elitest art-school ethos wherein they consider themselves too good to lower themselves to actual music. This is yet another exercise in egotistical, out-of-tune ramblings over incoherent repetitious beats. Mind you, the first two songs aren't quite so bad, one of them sort of sounds like Kasabian.
To the readers of review 'A', we award a gift voucher entitling you to new clothes, fit for an emperor. For the readers of review 'B', we give you the Strange Glue rating of: