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September 2, 2014

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Art Rock:

CD review: Liars’ ‘WIXIW’

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The Details

Liars
WIXIW
Four stars

Unpredictability, thy name is Liars. What began 12 years ago as a spastic dance-punk outfit went weird for back-to-back concept albums, then scaled back that experimentalism for two straighter song-driven projects. Sixth full-length WIXIW sees the trio change course yet again, though maybe the new electronic lean isn’t so surprising given what’s hot these days.

But you won’t see Angus Andrew, Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross rocking Electric Daisy Carnival anytime soon, unless they promise to spin “Brats,” the danciest cut on the new disc, ad infinitum. A Liars electronic album is still very much a Liars album—unsettling, hypnotizing, thought-provoking—except that this time, samplers and synthesizers are making most of the noise.

Uncertain you want your Liars like that? Dial up first single “No. 1 Against the Rush” and let its chilly keyboards, shadowy vibe and endless beat wash away those doubts. And if you don’t dig that, don’t worry; the next record is sure to sound nothing like it.

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