Review Summary: Sisterworld shows that behind every small and opaque locked door hides a disturbing storyline.
Unashamedly, Liars are completely new to me, essentially starting out on a blank slate. The band’s hit single from Sisterworld
, “Scissor” piqued my interest enough to blindly look into their odd combination of post-punk, shoegaze, and experimental rock. Soon enough, “Scissor” turned out to be another attempt for Liars to advance on their already wide spectrum. And that is what makes this album so special; as any particular song can unravel a new variation, following similarly to Sisterworld
’s inside album booklet. Within, we find the members of the band seemingly lost in the woods, while the album cover is a small, locked door, essentially uncovering the different paths in the woods. All that is left is whether they chose the correct path.
plays like it is enclosed in a bizarre, melancholy fantasy world. The album is drenched in a numb, comatose state, lacking any genuine happiness. “Scissor” initiates Sisterworld
with a hymn of howling ghosts, followed by Angus Andrew muttering, ‘I found her with my scissor/this heart fell to the ground.’ From here, “Scissor” aggressively explodes, turning the mood from a string-arranged prayer of hope to an unexpected resuscitation, ‘she was…ALIVE AND BREATHING.’ At this point, there was nothing that could really damper such a brilliant opening statement, however the album relies on patience to fully bloom. “Here Comes All the People” and “I Still Can See an Outside World” are prime examples of this particular waiting game, littered with minor chord progressions at a relatively low tempo creating suspense that generally never resolves itself. Despite that, some tracks like “Proud Evolution” and “No Barrier Fun” are more obvious, setting up the bulk of the track early allowing pure, unabashed enjoyment. “Proud Evolution” delightfully plays off fluctuating guitar reverb, while Andrew quietly sings without overpowering the aura created. Conversely, tracks like “The Overachievers” and “Scarecrows on a Killer Slant” sound like the post-punk, dancing beats of the 80’s like the Ramones and Screeching Weasel, moving towards a more edgy sound than whimsical, adding that extra tinge of distinction.
As high-maintenance as Sisterworld
may have just sounded, the benefits, so to say, are worth the wait. The turtle pace of Sisterworld
sets up the album’s demeanor perfectly, as any creepy story should be slowly injected. Liars successfully created a stimulating, challenging, and disturbing record and while it may click immediately for some, don’t get frustrated if you find yourself lost in the woods.