Saturday, November 21, 2009

Liars - they threw us all in a trench and stuck a monument on top (2001)

When dance-punk was a prevailing movement in the early 00's, and before the Liars decided they were an art-rock band, they gave one of the definitive records of the genre with They Threw Us All In A Trench. It started with "Grown Men Don't Fall In The River", introduced by typical slacker-rock plucking, but soon got a kick up the butt by turning to a manic Gang Of Four-like punk-funk exercise, though it's structure was anything but stable, a trait that was also evident in the quasi-free-form and quasi-rap "Mr. Your On Fire Mr.", reminiscent of the Beastie Boys at their best, before it embarked once again in a Gang Of Four-styled chorus. Then the irregular chanting and rhythming in "Loose Nuts On The Velandrome" veered into no-wave territory, reminding of the Teenage Jesus & The Jerks' shattering "Orphans".

"Tumbling Walls Buried Me In The Debris With ESG" harked back to the Bush Tetras more broad punk-funk, albeit in modern post-everything production settings, and in the end embarking in a very effective dark-punk and punk-funk jamming, proving that the Liars were above all good musicians. In the meantime, industrial gurgling electronic noise enhanced the spazz framework in "Nothing Is Ever Lost Or Can Be Lost", one of their most angst ridden endeavors. The most impressive experiment was "This Dust Makes That Mud", whose fluid structure, led by tense synthesizer lines and agonizing thrumming shrieks, harked back to such cold-wave classics such as Joy Divisions' "I Remember Nothing" and the Talking Heads' "Overload", eventually leading to a nightmarish, psychedelic loop going on for 20 minutes, from where it seemed there was no exit. Get it here.