(Mute Records 2010)Liars - Sisterworld

When we find Liars on their fifth full-length record, "Sisterworld," things aren't radically different than in the past. The band is still playing with dark, sinister sounds and soul-stirring rhythms. But gone, at least to a certain degree, are the trio's more abstract jams. Instead, Liars are more focused on something more akin to droning dirges lightened with vocal melodies.

While the first strains of "Scissor," the album's lead off track, sounds like it could easily be Nick Cave, the illusion is short lived as Liars seemingly appear from out of the fog. Much of "Sisterworld" seems to follow that fog-like thinking with dark and dreamy orchestral
instrumentation that envelopes everything with its swirling sounds before offering bursts of chaos, such as on "Here Comes All the People" and "No Barrier Fun," with its unforgettable chime melody on the chorus. Perhaps the lowest point on the album, in terms of creepy darkness, comes via "Drip" which evokes the spirit of Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka. When the trio does turn their equipment up and opt for a more raucous punk attitude ("Scarecrows On A Killer Slant" and "The Overachievers") the result is just as sweet.

Those looking for Liars to experiment with rhythms, chants and the like will have to look elsewhere. That just isn't the end goal for the band this time around. Liars are less avant garde on "Sisterworld" but without the sickly feeling that they're selling out -- they're merely developing. Liars' "Sisterworld" is focused and fantastic.