The birth of a great new strain of tribal goth rock.

Liars - Drum’s Not Dead
Posted by Editorial Intern on 24-May-06 @ 03:47 PM

[5/5] The critical thrashing Liars' last album, 2004's They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, received hasn't deterred the trio at all. The band moved from Brooklyn to Berlin to escape the Williamsburg hype and get their feverishly creative heads together, and the change has done them good: Drum's Not Dead, a concept album about the fictional yin/yang figures Drum and Mount Heart Attack, is the group's wickedest combination of brawn and beauty yet. "Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack!" immediately builds anticipation and suspense with the kind of brilliant guitar oscillations last heard on My Bloody Valentine's 1988 classic Isn't Anything. Robust tom-tom thumps punctuate the guitar heat waves, creating a song that's all tension and no release. Said release comes on the next track, "Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack," in which massed yells and a weirdly distorted guitar riff (or is it a flanged didgeridoo?) unleash a serpentine power. Angus Andrew sings in a more feminine, tuneful style (those MBV-like "ooohhh"s are chilling) that contrasts well with the roiling intensity and otherworldly atmospheres conjured here. Scattered throughout the disc are tribal-goth stomps, haunting, ominous ballads, morbid march tunes and intelligent industrial-rock excursions. And lots of falsetto vocals. And rumbling tom-toms. The disc may be too weird for people who like their music categorically cut and dried, but adventurous listeners will want to bang Liars' Drum often. (MUTE) Dave Segal

ROCKS LIKE: My Bloody Valentine's Isn't Anything • Can's Tago Mago •Savage Republic's Tragic Figures

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