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Liars Biography

Home > Music > L > Liars > Biography

Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Years Active: 2000-Present
Genres: Experimental Rock, Dance Punk, Post-punk Revival, Noise Rock, Art Punk

Liars is a three-piece band formed in 2000 consisting of Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), and Julian Gross (drums). Although initially lumped into the New York dance-punk scene of the early 21st century, they have come to be categorized by their dramatic stylistic shifts between albums, while retaining a consistent interest in rhythm and sound texture.

They entered in 2001 with the release of their first album, “They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top,” via English label Blast First Records. Recorded in a mere two days, the album generated interest in the band and gained them a following amongst the post-punk revival scene of New York. It was the only album to include the rhythm section of drummer Ron Albertson ad bassist Pat Noecker.

As a four-piece, Liars were only to release two more short EPs. Due to differences of creative methods, it was agreed that Noecker and Albertson would leave the band to pursue other work. Both joined the short-lived band No Things. Meanwhile, Andrew and Hemphill recruited Gross to form the current incarnation of Liars.

The first release from Liars as a three-piece was a split EP with the band Oneida, called “Atheists, Reconsider,” which was released December 2002 by the Arena Rock Recording Co. Liars' next full-length album, “They Were Wrong, So We Drowned,” was recorded in March and May 2003 and released in February 2004. The band relocated to a cabin in the woods of New Jersey for the recording sessions, and along with producer David Andrew Sitek of TV on the Radio immersed themselves in both non-fiction accounts of witch trials and traditional witch folklore. From these sources, Andrew created a generic fairy tale which is told through contrasting viewpoints in the lyrics. This commitment to the material at the heart of the album —a “story album” (as opposed to “concept album”), according to Andrew — resulted in a thematically rich piece of work that can often feel more atmospheric than musical. The non-traditional instrumentation and song structuring furthers its feel of concept over musicality, along with Sitek's signature harmonies and sound looping. Many critics responded negatively to this aspect of the album, and though it had its fervent supporters, it infamously garnered the lowest possible scores from both Spin and Rolling Stone magazines.

“Drum's Not Dead,” their third album, was released in 2006 through Mute Records. It was recorded in at Planet Roc studios in Berlin and produced by Andrew. The sound was characterized by pounding drums, highly distorted guitar drones, and falsetto vocals.

A self-titled album, “Liars,” followed in 2007 on Mute. The album was recorded at Planet Roc, Los Angeles and was produced by the band and Jeremy Glover. Their fifth studio album, “Sisterworld,” was written and recorded in Los Angeles with assistance from Tom Biller and issued by Mute in 2010. An expanded version of the album was being released with a bonus remix disc featuring remixes from Radiohead's Thom Yorke, TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe, Blonde Redhead's Kazu Makino, Deerhunter's Bradford Cox, Melvins and others.

Their next album, “WIXIW,” pronounced “wish you,” was put out by Mute in 2012. Like their last LP, the record was written and recorded in Los Angeles.