Artists You Should Know: Liars


Don’t even pretend like you haven’t been dying to see this band.  Even if you haven’t heard of Liars before, trust us, this show is what you’ve been waiting for.  After slaving away, working for the man on these beautiful summer days, couldn’t we all use a little ruthless nighttime post-punk exorcism?  It’s going to be loud, it’s going to be sweaty, and it’s going to absofuckinglutely rock.

If you like No Age, Deerhunter, Xiu Xiu, Lightning Bolt, Titus Andronicus, or Japandroids,  you need Liars in your life.   Read on to find out more about the band and grab your tickets to see them live in Madison at the High Noon Saloon tomorrow night, July 14th.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


High Noon Saloon – 9 pm

$13 adv $15 dos – 18+


Liars were conceived in November 2000 after two friends and ex-Los Angeles art students, Aaron Hemphill and Angus Andrew, reunited in New York City. They responded to a “musicians wanted” ad posted in a local record store by two Nebraskans, Pat Noecker and Ron Albertson.

The lurching Aussie Andrew took on the vocal/frontman duties while Hemphill became their guitarist and drum machine programmer. Bassist Noecker and drummer Albertson make up the Liars rhythm section. Combined, they write music — surprisingly formulated after the beats are laid down on the drum machine — exhibiting fundamental elements of punk rock.

Synthetic keypads, vocal modulation, and interspersed prearranged compositions, mixed with their guitar-bass-drums equation, create angular yet melodic songs. Liars are reminiscent of U.K. groups that embraced dance music during the late ’70s/early ’80s (A Certain Ratio, Gang of Four, the Slits) — bands that are all known for insidiously adding danceable rhythms to punk.

Only months after forming, the group played its first show. Liars’ debut album, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, was released on independent Gern Blandsten Records in October 2001 and was later reissued by Blast First/Mute. The album was recorded in just two days by producer/engineer Steve Revitte, who’s best known for this work with the Beastie Boys and Lee “Scratch” Perry.

Late the following year, Noecker and Albertson left the band and percussionist Julian Gross was recruited as a replacement. The trio began recording the second Liars album at Andrew’s house in the forests of New Jersey with friend and co-producer Dave Sitek. The results, They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, which was inspired by experimental electronic music and German legends about witchcraft, arrived in early 2004.

After moving to Berlin, Liars got even more ambitious on Drum’s Not Dead, a concept album revolving around creativity and doubt accompanied by short films by the band and other filmmakers. The band took a much more stripped-down approach for 2007’s self-titled album, which featured more structured songwriting and a harder-edged sound. For 2010’s Sisterworld, Liars returned to Los Angeles and mixed their high-concept atmospherics with blistering outbursts.

-Lisa LeeKing,

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One Response

  1. I hear a lot of Birthday Party in this band.
    With any luck, in a good decade or so, we’ll have another Nick Cave in Aussie Andrew.

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