Liars' new album WIXIW
(pronounced "wish you") is different-- the forty-three minutes of playtime show the album to be more vastly electronic than what Liars have done in the past. Over the course of WIXIW
, the band probably used the majority of the patches on the band's synth, but we're surprisingly okay with it. They use the experimental sound as way to deepen their sound rather than clutter it.
Compared to their past albums, like They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top
, this most recent release is a step away from the dance punk we're used to hearing. For this release, Liars went in an arterial direction. The sweeping keys and barely decipherable vocals create an other-worldly feel. However it may not be a friendly world. The record definitely has darker currents running through it. The repetition of "I want you out" in "No. 1 Against the Rush" creates a sense of tension, which can be traced throughout the album. It breeds a sort of creeping uneasiness. The abrupt end to "A Ring on Every Finger" followed by the slow build of "Ill Valley Prodigies" is one of the more tormented points on WIXIW
. "Brats" includes the same electronic feel and layered vocals as the rest of the album, but in a more upbeat direction. The same can be said for "Flood to Flood", which sounds less mental-breakdown, more genuinely experimental. There is also a heavy Radiohead influence evident, especially in tracks like "III Valley Prodigies." But WIXIW
isn't just a reproduction of a sound already made famous by another band. It stands as an independently successful album.
The band is known for shifting stylistically between albums, so the sonic change isn't an entirely a foreign concept -- it's almost expected. For WIXIW
the band used new equipment and techniques, some that they have never worked with that each member had to learn while writing. They outline this process on their blog
. This included using damaged instruments, breaking equipment and various other nontraditional techniques.
The video for "No. 1 Against the Rush" features an elderly man who dry cleans by day and kills off random pedestrians by night. The video follows him as he drives around LA, using his panel van to both hang his clean shirts and to hold his victims. One manages to escape and a Creep-like chase scene follows, as the captured man runs slowly away from the oncoming car. The video utilizes the song's darker side. The song becomes more of a horror movie soundtrack, than a single, with the inclusion of dialogue and sound effects in the video. Still "No. 1 Against the Rush" and the rest of WIXIW
is evidence that the band is taking their experimental music in the right direction -- to elicit certain emotions, within a different context.
The band talking about what it was like recording WIXIW
"No.1 Against The Rush":