April 3, 2012

Song Review: Liars' "No.1 Against the Rush"

As one of the most influential bands to arrive at the turn of the millennium, Liars have profoundly broken free from the dance-punk scene they were originally lumped into and reinvented their sound with each new release. The build-up behind the trio's upcoming sixth LP WIXIW (due out June 4th on Mute Records,) has been nothing short of intriguing, with the band's Tumblr teasing ambient noise video clips and mysteriously concealing the identity of the album's "idol" producer (We now know the man behind that pixelated image is Mute Records founder and electronic producer Daniel Miller.) WIXIW's first single "No.1 Against the Rush" lets us know that none of these social media baits were done in jest, with the next steps of the Los Angeles art rock transplants being another linearly progressive stylistic departure. A constant in Liars' sound has always been an emphasis on rhythm and bursts of noise (last evidenced on their 2010 listmaking effort Sisterworld) but never has the band stepped away from drums and guitars to do so. "No.1 Against the Rush" changes all that, worming its way into your speakers using slick, slow-gliding ambiance and teleportational synths as its vehicle to hit the same marks. Frontman Angus Andrew's vocal murmurs aren't so much there to provide lyrical context as they are to add to the wavy, rhythmic textures, and when you consider Miller's role on this LP, Liars' transition from artsy noise rockers to a down-scaled minimalist fair on "No.1 Against the Rush" isn't as confusing as the band would like you to think.

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