Liars – Proud Evolution

Release Date 08/11/2010 (Mute Records)

Review by Chris Gilliver

Proud EvolutionIf Liars are, “…interested in the alternate spaces people create in order to maintain identity in a city like L.A. Environments where outcasts and loners celebrate a skewered relationship to society,” then Proud Evolution marks the point where a dysfunctional relationship with society becomes pathological. Amidst the extended (and demented) periods of ambient wastelands, inhabited with single repetitive notes, mumbled vocals and discordant clatters, is the place where loneliness and marginalisation become obsessive and murderous.

Warning, this music is not good for your state of mind, but, it is a fascinating, deeply atmospheric experience that for the duration of listening will alter the way you feel about everything and everyone around you. On the title track this manifests itself as something vaguely euphoric, with high notes that fit Blade Runner’s dystopic cityscapes, driving drums, and a vocal line reminiscent of some of Radiohead’s dancier stuff. It is fitting that Proud Evolution comes Siamese-twinned with a typically schizophrenic Thom Yorke Remix.

It is after this that the EP goes into a metaphorical black hole, and becomes something supreme. Both beautiful, and beautifully bleak, ‘Come Now’ is the EP’s high point. With a brilliant arpeggio bass line and falsetto singing it is a wonderfully hushed track, fit for a church descending into anarchy.

Caught by their fascination with the fringes of society, Liars have placed themselves on the fringes of popular music, and turned their position into something truly exciting. They have seamlessly translated these “skewered relationships” into something musically visceral and devastating. A proud evolution indeed!


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