Thalia Zedek Band Liars and Prayers

As a ruminative response to living in America under the Bush Administration, Liars and Prayers is a powerful record by Thalia Zedek and her new band. Missing the musical force of Come, Zedek upgrades her guitar, drums, viola trio with piano and bass, and the end result provides an intense, unified roar for Zedek’s gritty, blustery voice. As if enabling this new configuration to find their footing, Zedek’s voice doesn’t appear until two minutes into the sprawling folk rock of "Next Exit,” a subtly effective critique of blind religious affiliation over reason. "Lower Allston” has more of an immediate stomp, where a rusty, clean guitar tone sets a riff into play for pounding drums and oddly driving piano. "We Don’t Go” and "Circa The End” each possess a mid-tempo clip that houses fully-realised lyricism and intricate rock arrangements. In some ways, Zedek has constructed her own latter-day Patti Smith Group for Liars and Prayers and, while reserved rage is employed instead of a frenetic punk zeal, there’s a similar belief in the revolutionary power of language. (Thrill Jockey)