We just wanted the most meaningless title we could come up with,” said Liars singer Angus Andrew about his band’s recently released fourth record. “And that was the name of our band.”
But the threesome’s fourth record, “Liars,” isn’t an afterthought unworthy of a name. The record is one of the band’s strongest, and Andrew — along with bandmates Aaron Hemphill and Julian Gross — wanted to let the music speak for itself.
Opening with “Plaster Casts of Everything,” the album is both ecstatic and epileptic, squealing and sauntering through 11 songs that boom with the full sound that the group’s earlier records — all arguably concept albums — were missing.
“We made ‘Drum’s Not Dead’ right before this,” said Andrew, “and that was just drums and minimal stuff. This time, I just wanted to have a guitar and solo. The idea of rock in a bit more of a traditional way was what I’ve been into — even just Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath — anything that was beefy.”
On Saturday, Feb. 9, the band, along with LA-based openers No Age, will bring its new, beefier sound to Warsaw in Greenpoint; a homecoming of sorts as Liars called Williamsburg home during the heady late-’90s and early aughts, when the neighborhood was effectively the center of the rock music world.
Coming up alongside bands like Oneida — the bands released a split record in 2002 — the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol, Liars’ first record, “They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top,” cemented the band as a local favorite and garnered attention from the international music press.
Despite being Bedford Avenue royalty, however, the band remained more interested in making music than enjoying the spoils of fame.
“We had done our first record, and it was at that point when Williamsburg started to feel really small,” said Andrew. “It didn’t feel like it did when we first lived there, so we started moving further out to Bushwick. Getting on the L train felt claustrophobic.”
But even the wilds of Bushwick weren’t quiet enough for the band.
“I’m from Australia,” said Andrew, “and decided I should move out to the countryside to make our second record. I got a place with a big garden and a basement to switch my life around. I started feeling the intensity of New York a bit too much and wanted a bit of respite.”
So the band made its second album, “They Were Wrong, So We Drowned,” inspired by the folklore of witch trials, while ensconced in the bucolic Jersey landscape. Ennui set in again, though, and soon enough the band had relocated to Berlin. That city’s avant-garde sensibility and artist-friendly pricing appealed to Andrew, and it was there that “Drum’s Not Dead” and “Liars” were both recorded.
Working in Germany, said Andrew, “was more about [writing] the songs than the album. It was a lot of fun to lose the overarching element and go with your gut a bit more.”
And though the band has called many cities home — since completing “Liars,” the members have relocated to Los Angeles — the upcoming Brooklyn show seems to be something of a homecoming.
“The first thing I want is to see a bunch of people I haven’t seen in ages,” said Andrew. “A lot of our friends live right around there! I’m excited to just go to someone’s house, maybe go have dinner.”
Andrew doesn’t expect Williamsburg to be the same as when he was in residence, though.
“I was in New York over Christmas, and it’s changed a lot since I was living there — I feel like a tourist again and I need to be taken places. I was on Bedford Avenue and there was a Subway sandwich place, which was shocking.”
The band has changed just as much as its old stomping grounds, but with the upcoming show at the Warsaw, it seems that the two will be happy to get reacquainted.
With all the rock that came from Williamsburg early in the millennium, what makes Liars different than any other Tom, Dick or Larry Tee? GO Brooklyn broke down the band’s new, self-titled record to give you an idea of what makes them a must listen.
Take the hard edge of classic Black Sabbath (we’re particularly fond of 1971’s “Paranoid”) and throw in a dash of…
fuzzed-out rock like the Stooges, another defining force in the New York scene. Take the swagger of 1973’s “Raw Power” and add a twist of…
pioneering Australian rock band the Scientists, whose hits like “Last Night” and “Frantic Romantic” set the standard for angry, young musicians. And you’ll have…
Liars’s new, self-titled record. We suggest putting the first track, “Plaster Casts of Everything,” on high volume and dancing in your room.
The Liars will perform at 8 pm on Feb. 9 at Warsaw (261 Driggs Ave. at Eckford Street in Greenpoint). Tickets are $16.50. For information, call (718) 387-0505 or visit www.polishnationalhome.com.
©2008 Community News Group
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