The Liars with Brain Transplant and the Star Death

Monday, March 18; Way Out Club

Mar 13, 2002 at 4:00 am
What comes around goes around, it is true. The best hope is that what comes back around didn't suck in the first place and that the interesting ideas that go around return with a renewed vigor and some sort of aesthetic evolution. In other words, here's to interesting rehash and obnoxious rejuvenation.

NYC's Liars (not to be confused with Boston's Lyres) could maybe be tagged post-decade-that-punk-broke punk, or post-post-post-punk. But what to call them doesn't matter. What does matter is that they've listened to a buttload of Gang of Four, Killing Joke and Birthday Party -- the herky-jerky late-'70s/early-'80s post-punk that one-upped the first-wave Brit stuff by messing with structure and sound, by stretching the limits of the music -- and have merged this bass-and-pound vision with rough rhythms and the bellicose throat of one Angus (yes, he's from Australia) Andrew.

On their debut, the wonderfully titled They Threw Us in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top (Gern Blandsten), the Liars reinforce their rock with a superheavy Nebraskan bottom end (drummer Ron Albertson, whom old-schoolers may remember from his days pounding for Lincoln's Mercy Rule; and bassist Pat Noecker, ex of Opium Taylor). The result could perhaps stretch a bit further from their obvious influences but is sturdy enough to stand well on its own. The Liars' live show is rumored to be amazing, and if they do a version of "We Live NE of Compton," pay attention. It sounds like the Nuge's "Stranglehold" -- in hell.