Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The battle of Drum vs Mt. Heart Attack

Play it: Liars Drums Not Dead

This has got to be one of the most obtuse albums written about the creative process. For the Liars' third release, Drum's Not Dead, the Brooklyn-to-Germany residents build freak folk rhythms and sounds around two characters: Drum, who represents creativity, instinct, and confidence; and Mt. Heart Attack, who is stress and self-doubt. These two characters are in nearly every song title and their descriptions give you some indication of where the song is going to head (aside from the fascinating opener, "Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack!" which I think is Drum calling out his foe.)

The album seems to benefit from trial and error - after shelving one attempted recording, Liars packed up and moved to Berlin to start over and find inspiration (much like Bowie with Low.) The result is something quite different from prior recordings. They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (a Dance Punk concept album about witches,) was frustratingly off-putting in it's tape loop experiments, abrasive techno blasts, and pagan drums, so much so that many wrote them off as 'difficult.' Drum's Not Dead builds on the pagan drum rhythms, but eases off some of the abrasiveness of it's predecessor, making it more initially listenable, certainly more melodic. They've moved more in the direction of Animal Collective, with soundscapes and drones. Song highlights include the opening two tracks; "Drum Gets Glimpse," "It Fit When I Was a Kid," and the closer, "The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack," which is surprisingly sentimental and resembles a normal song more then any other Liars recording prior. (The album also comes with a DVD featuring three movies totaling 45 minutes - Brooklyn Vegan has links to all the vids from Mute Records.)

It's a spellbinding recording that I've had on repeat for the past couple days (and will probably for some time.) Highly recommended.

The videos

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Liars Drums Not Dead

01. Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack!
02. Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
03. A Visit From Drum
04. Drum Gets A Glimpse
05. It Fit When I Was A Kid
06. The Wrong Coat For You Mt. Heart Attack
07. Hold You, Drum
08. Its All Blooming Now Mt. Heart Attack
09. Drum And The Uncomfortable Can
10. You, Drum
11. To Hold You, Drum
12. The Other Side of Mt. Heart Attack