LIARS play Lee’s Palace Saturday (July 21). See listing. Rating: NNN
Gloomy Brooklyn electronic rock band Liars have a lot in common with Radiohead - some good, some bad. Both acts can write a catchy pop song but do everything to avoid it. While this sometimes leads to groundbreaking creativity, it can also result in directionless jams that are more boring than challenging. As much as both bands claim to love electronic music, some of their attempts to bring those textures into a band format come across as dilettantism.
When Liars choose to write a pop song, though, they pull it off, and the latter half of WIXIW has enough to offset their plodding attempts to be experimental. The more you listen to the album, the more glimpses of greatness you find. They hit their mark on the tightly focused Brats, which successfully reconfigures the icy synth-punk doom of cold wave into something modern and unique.
Top track: Brats