It has certainly been a long and strange journey for the Liars. From Brooklyn to Berlin and then L.A, in the space of 5 albums they have made some interesting transitions. Constantly re-invigorating their sound with systematic experimentation and improvisation. This refusal to stand still has left those satisfied with more of the same disappointed.
Sisterworld (the Deluxe edition) comes packaged to the hilt by Brian Roettinger, with its peephole contraption providing an insight into the interior/alternative world of the Liars and Angus Andrew (as well as Mute’s conviction in the band). It’s apparently a place of feral energy and bucolic pastoral beauty.
A response to the constant intrusion and hostility of the city, Sisterworld is concerned with a blueprint for a means of escape. Some island inside, as much as outside, Sisterworld attempts to construct a mechanism of escape that is not escapist.
As with the apocalyptic vigilante fantasy of Scarecrows on a Killer Slant, distracted sweetness constantly threatens to give way to dark thoughts, these shadows in turn evaporating in heat stroked lassisitude. A sense of introspective, inner exile seems to dominate, sometimes melancholy, sometimes enraged. But if that sounds like it might be a bummer, blissed out and camped up character acting as well as quiet/loud dynamics are also in their repertoire. At times Sisterworld comes across as the bastard child of Gorrillaz and Godspeed You Black Emporer (with Nick Cave and Beck as midwifes) but in the end Sisterworld is conceptually ambitious and vital enough to be entirely The Liars own creation.
Closing with a fatigued and beautiful sigh of strings. “You have wished for this a thousand times”, Too Much, Too Much is a hypnotic, pyschedelic lullaby that (almost) soothes away the preceding angst.
The accompanying c.d of remixes sees the entirety of Sisterworld reprised by the likes of Thom Yorke, Tunde Adebimple, Devendra Banhart, The Melvins , Atlas Sound, Carter Tuti, Boyd Rice and Alan Vega (amongst others).
Though perhaps not quite succeeding in reinventing the wheel, this alternate Sisterworld (the Sisterworld to Sisterworld?) sounds great, dubby, dirty and glitchy, like Snow White’s missing dwarves and with Pink Dollaz hip-hopification of Scissor, nearly worth the price of admission alone.