From the offset, Liars have always been a band deserving of our undiluted attention. And this, their fourth album, does not disappoint. They may have slipped ever so slightly off the radar, their output no longer nestling quite so succinctly within the boundaries of what we are told is good and hip and consumer-friendly. Thankfully, they are still orbiting a solar system all of their own; they've thrown off the 'punk-funk' tag that hung round their necks for so long and have kicked themselves loose from the shackles of expectation that so often restrain 'trendy' bands from achieving anything more than a couple of hit "7s and an NME cover to show their grandkids.
The self-titled offering is a smorgasbord of styles, bewildering and deftly defying any neat and tidy summarising on my part. 'Houseclouds' is could easily be a page torn out of Beck's diary, whereas its successor, 'Leather Prowler', a haunting electronic, spoken-word number is more likely torn from that of Freddy Kruger. Where Angus's vocals have previously jumped out of the mix like an errant child, gagging for attention, here he drones alongside the background noises: voice as instrument rather than messenger.
'Liars' veers brazenly between industrial, punk, psychedelia and even, dare I say it, glam rock (on 'Freak Out', a track which closes the ground between early BRMC and Marc Bolan, if such a feat is possible). Bass and vocals are distorted to oblivion, lyrics are buried dep in the sand, and pulled to the surface, gasping for air. It's a treat. Nowhere near as instant a hit as their first two albums, but a hit, nonetheless.