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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Liars
Sisterworld
Mute

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


June 23, 2010
As Angus Andrew drags a girl who killed herself with scissors to a parking lot only to discover she's still alive, anyone short of the Jesus Lizard's David Yow (who probably has advice for Andrew) will be rightly horrified, but Liars' mastery of dynamic shifts keeps all but the most squeamish around to hear how Sisterworld unfolds.

From "Scissor" onward, Liars' fifth full-length oscillates between ominous dirges and sinister, distorted noise, unified only by horrifying subject matter. Helpful musings such as "Life possession could be fun/Counting victims one by one," work perfectly in conjunction with Andrew's brooding baritone, yet his possessed yelps threatening to buy a house and settle down with cats are equally frightening.

By the middle of the album, the band has become so comfortable in this chilling aesthetic that they shed the element of surprise, telegraphing the maniacal guitar on "Scarecrows on a Killer Slant" before exploding, as if to convince the listener Liars are unstoppable. And boy howdy are they ever, but that's actually their problem.

The first side is so relentless that any sane listener can't help wanting to escape the Sisterworld, and the album's only major fault is how tempting it is to turn this frightful monster off and run back to safety.

The final tracks draw more drone influence from lurching reinvention Drum's Not Dead while reworking themes developed on the more aggressive numbers, resulting in a surprisingly relaxed conclusion, inexplicably delivering the listener back to the Earth's surface in one piece. For such a dense, demented album to have a definite ending should assure listeners otherwise afraid of institutionalization that further listening will not only be safe, but worth it even if it wasn't.

Reviewed by JJ Lang


See other reviews by JJ Lang

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