June 21, 2012
Liars played Webster Hall
It's a shame that the intricate, thick grooves and ambient drones that make Oneohtrix Point Never's records so excellent, does not really translate to a live setting. Watching Daniel Lopatin hover over his laptop to produce these deep and heavy warped textures does not engage an audience like one would hope. Luckily, the same cannot be said about Liars. Riding high off their awesome new album WIXIW, the trio brought together their extreme blend of art/noise rock and their newly found electronic side for a night of intense, room shaking sonic pleasures. Kicking off the night with the first two tracks from the new record, the band plunged into heavy synth samples backed with pulsating bass lines and wild shouts. While every record has seen some sort of change in style, the one thing you can expect from this band is for them to be weird (that's a good thing). Their not quite post-punk and not quite dance approach to this album has drawn many comparisons to Radiohead's Kid A and trip-hop masterminds Massive Attack, but really this is still a Liars album at heart. Perhaps a bit contained on the album, everything becomes entirely flushed out in the live performance and expands the delicate inner-workings of each track. Although nothing rumbled the crowd quite like "Scarecrows on a Killer Slant", Drum's Not Dead thriller "Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack" was a welcomed surprise and received much praise. The violent, ever visceral, "Plaster Casts of Everything" caused the crowd to burst apart into a frenzy, unleashing a tension that had been building since the show began. Liars are capable of creating immense waves of fury through their music, and despite the new dabble into less punishing tones, the band still carries a presence unlike many other bands and as the house lights came up and the realm of Liars dissipated it was clear that the band has reached a level at which they will consistently deliver.