With their bigger and better second album, London-based indie/dance band Boxed In have earned their breakout moment
Liars : They Were Wrong So We Drowned
New York cool burns on a pyre at The Liars Witch Project...
That something? ‘They Were Wrong So We Drowned’: a concept record about pagan worship in the 16th Century. Steeped in a malingering sense of murky dread, Liars’ second album collects every single column inch about fashionable New York punk-funk, piles it into an immense wicker man, and reaches for the tinderbox.
Accordingly, it starts with a thunderbolt. ‘Broken Witch’ is a maelstrom of electronic screams and upturned-cauldron percussion, Angus barking "I don’t wanna be a man!/ I want to be a horse!" in bestial glee. It’s an awesome opener. But from here on in, we plunge into the wilderness. Liars’ powerhouse rhythm section – previously, something of a trump card - are gone, replaced by new drummer Julian Gross. His hollow tom-rolls and clattering snare-loops – harking back two decades to Martin Atkins’ stark drumming on PiL’s ‘Flowers Of Romance’ - form a brittle rhythmic backbone. Meanwhile, former guitarist Aaron Hemphill appears to have sacrificed his six-string, deigning instead to channel spirits through an electronic graveyard of ramshackle sequencers and piecemeal synths.
Dense and foreboding, this is a wilfully contrary record, and highly unlikely to inspire Covent Garden shop assistants to grow out their Toni and Guy mullets and start dressing like the Unabomber. But there are fleeting moments of black magic here: the racing ‘They Don’t Want Your Corn They Want Your Kids’ – essentially, The Rapture dressed for Hallowe’en – or the unholy death-chants of ‘We Fenced Other Houses With The Bones Of Our Own’. Ultimately, we’re left wondering: have Liars lost it, or found themselves? It’s been a brave - some might say foolhardy - journey. We can only hope they come back alive.
Get 'They Were Wrong So We Drowned' at the NME Shop
Islamic mythology meets the horror of war in this claustrophobic, low-budget spine-tingler
California’s coolest lift their usual murk on a free-spirited, adventurous third album at odds with its ‘mature’ description
The New York new wave reprobates’ debut delivers instant gratification via boisterous choruses and loveable melodies
This Floridian trio’s peculiar take on pop music takes gloomy cues from Depeche Mode and The Smiths