"They Were Wrong, So We Drowned"

(Mute 2004)Liars - They Were Wrong, So We Drowned

With all their talk of witches and the devil, cauldrons and blood, it is easy to see a common thread running through the Liars' "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned." While their song titles are entertaining, it is the music that is important. And where the music is concerned? At the very least, Liars offer you a unique ride.

Part of the reason that the songs on the album have so much character is the way they sound. The audio is not crisp, you can hear squeaking of both instruments and vocals, and with the way the album is mixed, the vocals rarely tend to be in the foreground. With opening track "Broken Witch," you get a pretty clear idea of what the rest of the album will sound like as the track's screaming chants and catchy drumming pull you in. Offering up next an instrumental, "Steam Rose From The Lifeless Cloak" is a droning, beating song that is nearly forgotten as the first sounds of "Theres Always Room On The Broom" begins. Picking up pace and attitude, "Broom" is a weird mish mash of catchy sounds as singer Angus Andrew does his best impression of Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo. "If Your A Wizard, Then Why Do You Wear Glasses?" sounds darker as "We Fenced Other Houses With The Bones Of Our Own," both of which seem less intent on being catchy and upbeat and end up sounding more serious and memorable. "Fly, fly the devil's in your eye/Shoot shoot (We're doomed! We're doomed!)" sings Andrew on "The Bones Of Our Own."

Adding a racing pulse, "They Don't Want Your Corn They Want Your Kids" has less gloomy sounding instrumentation and segues into the interesting instrumental "Read The Book That Wrote Itself," which uses the sound of thunder and someone writing behind pounding drums. Driving "Hold Hands And It Will Happen Anyway" initially with bass, the song picks up with distorted electric guitar as the percussion gains some speed as Andrew chants "Choke, choke, the devil we evoke." "They Took 14 For The Rest of Our Lives" gets your attention with its imperfect rhythm. With an organ sound that sounds to come from a creepy abandoned carnival and is accented by breaking glass, "Flow My Tears The Spider Said" has a memorable melody that dwindles off as the sound of birds enters.

While a little eccentric and weird, that is where the charm of "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned" lies. The album offers interesting textures and rhythms that keep your attention but will, obviously, with its unique mixing of sounds, not appeal to every listener. The Liars might have offered a strong but unusual album, but that is what makes it worth listening to.