I had to walk outside to reflect on this album. I had to put my headphones on and go for a walk. I had to be by myself and let this album seep into my core… WIXIW (pronounced wish-you) is a loner album. For me, it’s the best loner album of the year. It’s an album about complexity of sound. It’s an album about being a loner and about the difficulties and nuances that human beings experience in communicating and coexisting with each other. Make no mistake about, this is some dark shit.
On, ‘Who is the Hunter,’ singer Angus Andrews presents us with power struggles in relationships. “I never meant to run…I only blew my gun to watch which beast still runs”:
He speaks of the beast within. And the beast that we all have inside of us. Man or woman. Again, its dark…but there’s nothing else like it. The sounds are incredibly haunting and Andrews’ spooky voice only adds to the haunt. The progression on ‘Who is the Hunter’ sees new sounds being introduced on top of other sounds and again and again, until we’re left with an extravagant opus.
And now, i’ll go out on the proverbial fucking limb and compare how this band makes music to what Radiohead does. Whew….im sweating…this is hard… i know i’m contradicting what i’ve said in the past, but i mean this….Stay with me…. They’re industrial synth reminisces of Jonny Greenwood’s cryptic melodies. Like Thom Yorke, Andrews has a similar “eyes be closed, my mind is somewhere else besides here” style of singing, but his voice is deeper, like Nick Cave…. In fact, Liars previously opened for Radiohead. They push boundaries of sound, often venturing into the unknown….But i’ll stop it right there…and not go any further with the comparison, because Liars aren’t as accessible as Yorke and Co….And i’m ok with that. This is what makes them unique.
On the flipside though, the most accessible track on the album, is ‘No. 1 Against the Rush’…Here’s a live peek at them performing the song on KEXP:
The last effects push at the 4:23 mark into the songs closing crescendo just kills me.
The albums title track ‘WIXIW’ starts with spiraling stringed sounds and a drum beat, as Andrews sings into the distance:
“and now i see it’s not enough…..i wish you were here with me…..I can’t no longer take it all… Wish you would not come back to me.”
Lyrically, everything about WIXIW is as complex as the music that accompanies it. This is one of the most haunting albums i’ve ever heard. Intense themes and a defining style that refuses to be categorized. It’s a weird album, made by weird people, but i love that….It’s a work of art and keeps me guessing from start to finish. WIXIW breaks me down and that’s a mind altering feeling with music. No album did this in 2012 quite like WIXIW and the next four that you’ll read about from me in the coming days. With that:
#5 Album of 2012: Liars – WIXIW