Liars Find a New Truth

Liars Find a New Truth
What’s a band to do when those who embraced their genre-defining debut deride their mould-breaking sophomore album? When you’re Liars, the band that best summated the dance punk splash only to venture out into experimental territory, you do the wisest thing — keep going assuredly along the uncharted course you’ve already chosen and record Drum’s Not Dead.

It’s a unique and distilling journey that bridges the two extremes found on the underappreciated They Were Wrong, So We Drowned — moody, moving songs and formless, searching soundscapes — and successfully accesses the compositional depths that lie between them. Drum’s Not Dead’s material is made all the more powerful for the band’s jaw-dropping use of acoustics, which they found in a Berlin studio called Planet Rock.

"It’s a relic of the old East German communist days, where you had one centralised broadcasting area that deals with all the recording and all the production of all the radio that you would have heard there at that time,” says singer Angus Andrew over the phone from Sweden, where he’s resting a shoulder he dislocated during a show a few nights previous. "They had every facility that you’d need to do that for a whole country, so we had access to basically every different acoustic room possible. You could even move walls around and make new rooms, so for us this was almost like getting another instrument in the band.”

Shockingly, Drum’s amass of acoustic tension never breaks into the band’s signature post-punk throttle, effectively redefining them in a new light wholly removed from those who look good on the dance (punk) floor. It brings to mind another band who like to redefine themselves.

"Radiohead, when they wanted to record Kid A, came into this studio and said, ‘Yeah, this is where we want to record it,’ and the people there at the time had no idea who Radiohead were. They just said, ‘Hey, look, we don’t do bands,’” says Andrew. "Obviously since then they’ve started to figure it out.”