A compelling return driven by aesthetic openness...

“They can’t figure out what I’m trying to do here,” intones Angus Andrew on ‘Sekwar’ from ‘The Apple Drop’.

It’s a fair observation. Since landing in 2001 with the oblique post-rock of ‘They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top’, Andrew has steered Liars any which way he chooses, without any heed to how his next release might complement (or not) anything he’s done before. The track ‘Sekwar’ is like a snapshot of Liars up to this point: at times you hear an Interpol-y introspection and melancholy, all droning guitars and emotional shadows; at others a disjointed rhythmic hopscotch; at others an insistent, urgent electronic precision and firmness.

So far, so Liars. For ‘The Apple Drop’, Andrew is back in group mode after years of using Liars as a solo vehicle. Here we find him collaborating with drummer / electronic musician Laurence Pike and multi- instrumentalist Cameron Deyell, and collaborating on lyrics with Mary Pearson Andrew. Working with other musicians seems to round out the sound here, whether on the Thurston Moore-esque ‘My Pulse To Ponder’ or the blues-addled ‘The Start’ or the synth-inflected ‘Leisure War’.  

Twenty years in, and Liars are no easier to comprehend – but that’s makes their version of the truth so compelling.

8/10

Words: Mat Smith

Try these: Grizzly Bear, Battles, No Things

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