It's no secret I'm a massive fan of U.S. noise hipsters Liars. Of the glut of 'altern/ underground' bands that arose in the early 2000's, Liars are perhaps the ones that still sail closest to the wind in being not afraid to try something new. Whilst there are a few overlaps sound-wise with their five studio albums, each does have it's own distinctive 'vibe' and sound.
The first LP released in 2001/2 - 'They Threw Us In A trench And Put A Monument On Top was a wonderfully tense and angular affair, with careening post punk scratch guitar against a fervent Gang of Four style wired funk bass and drums, and a 'running round the block' vocal urgency that was infective. It was love at first spin, and became one of my albums of the year (nay decade).
This was followed by a total change of direction in 2004 release ' They Were Wrong So We Drowned' Haunted 'Halloween' tribalism was the order of the day. With a big nod to the forbidding 1985 Sonic Youth album 'Bad Moon Rising', easy listening it certainly was not (hear a live recording of this tour from an earlier post here) but it succeeded in bucking the 'punk funk' audience that seemed to have coalesced around the band. Rumour has it that they totally scrapped the follow up to 'They Threw Us In A Trench...' in order to follow their twisted occult leanings out in darkest mid state New York. Worried that the original follow up was to much like the debut, they threw the baby out with the bath water and totally re-realised their vision in 'They Were Wrong'.
2005 album 'Drums Not Dead' was upon initial listens, a bit of a disappointment for me I must admit. Whilst on the surface it appeared to follow a similar vein to 'They Were Wrong...', albeit with a more electronic sheen, it did take a while for it to reveal it's layers, and I spent quite a lot of time worrying that they had shot their bolt musically speaking. In the years since it's release, it's a record I've warmed to immnesley, and if not quite as out there as 'They Were Wrong...' or as Insistent as their debut, it's still a mighty fine record. There is a concept at work, with Mt Heart Attack turning up as a theme on several tracks. All that said, It's worth the entry fee for the heartbreaking beauty of 'The Other Side Of Mount Heart Attack' alone
The next album came two years later in the eponymously titled 'Liars'. An altogether more electro psyche affair, it has more than it's fair share of alt. 'rockers' but for me has a certain 'downer' feel to it as well. Sweeping from Jesus and Mary-Chain style 'Spectorisms' to almost dream pop moments, it's a real return to form music wise.
'2010 release Sisterworld was for me, the pinnacle of their experimentation, in the same way that Bowie's 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps' seemed to take a little of what went before and mixed it all up, Liars did the same with Sisterworld. Encompassing great Kraut grooves (Proud Evolution) alongside slightly sinister ditties to suicide (Scissor) and ode's to the goof off lifestyle (The Overachievers), for me, this is their 'Tour de force' musically.
Which brings me to the point of the post...the bits between the bits, the uncollected debris of their career, compiled for your delectation into two neat discs worth of oddities and out-thereness.
Liars - B-Sides Compiled goes something like this...
1. Pillars Were Hollow And Filled With Candy So We Tore Them Down
2. Everyday Is A Child With Teeth
3. Rose And Licorice
4. All In All A Careful Party
5. Dorothy Taps The Toe Of The Tinman
6. We Got Cold, Coughed And Forgot Things
7. You Know I Hate Stupid Phones
8. Every Two Hours With A Ducks Fan
9. Leaving For Dubbo In A Panda-Bear
10. Skull and Crossbrooms
12 Sex Boy
13 The Fountain And Its Monologue
14 The Frozen Glacier Of Mastadon Blood
15 Bingo! Count Draculuck
16 Do As The Birds, Eat The Remains
And Part 2....
17 Sunset Rodeo
18 Mimic The Hurricano
19 Volcano Police
20 Panic Button
21 Leopard On My Right
23 Red Dirt
24 Dear God
25 Cycle Time
27 Pure Unevil
28 Plaster Casts of Everything
Tracks 1-2 taken from the 'Fins To Make Us More Like Fish' EP
Tracks 3-5 taken from the split LP with Oneida 'Atheists Reconsider'
Tracks 6-8 taken from the 'We No Longer Knew Who We Were' EP
Track 9 from Split 7" with Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Tracks 10-11 taken from the single 'There's Always Room On A Broom'
Tracks 12-13 taken from the EP 'We Fenced The Gardens With The Bones Of Our Own'
Track 14-15 taken from the single 'It Fit When I Was A Kid'
Track 16 from the 'Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack' single
Tracks 17 'Sunset Rodeo' free web download
Tracks 18-19 taken from 'Plaster Casts Of Everything' single
Track 20 from the 'Worried Noodles' compilation album
Tracks 21-22 from 'Leopard On My Right' single
Tracks 23-24 from the 'Houseclouds' single
The rest are a few A-Sides
If you fancy a listen - get it Here....