[1 February 2006]
What “It” has outgrown is an easy guess (the album’s uncensored cover art is a good clue), but otherwise this EP (title, songs and cover included) doesn’t really tell us too much about what the Liars have been up to since 2004’s They Were Wrong So We Drowned. With only four tracks (one a remix of the first, the two others feeling completely unfinished), to go by, my guess is that Angus Andrew, Julian Gross, and Aaron Hemphill are back to putting rhythm first, much like on They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, though not in the whipsmart, dance-worthy kind that the band originally cut their path with. Nor are these songs entirely similar to the anti-rhythms and sylvan eeriness of They Were Wrong So We Drowned that alienated fans who just wanted more of the same. If, as many people guessed (and some people hoped) They Were Wrong So We Drowned was a transitional album, then this EP is an transition out of that transition, towards what seems to be a less atmospheric, more drum and bass (not drum ‘n’ bass)-heavy LP ahead.
“It Fit When I Was a Kid” begins with staccato tribal pounding and a one-note bass riff. The track succeeds in bringing on the same feelings of queasiness and dread that listening to, “There’s Always Room on the Broom”, did, though Andrew’s disinterested vocal delivery and nursery rhyme lyrics don’t help to sustain this feeling. Of the two other tracks, “The Frozen Glacier Blood of Mastodon” is the better, though like its video it sounds like it popped before it had time to incubate. Since (again) this EP is so short, it’s hard to tell if these seemingly simple lyrical pictures and ideas are part of a larger theme.
The cover, which has a drawing of Santa Claus with a few of Cupid’s arrows stuck in his suit, points to this record’s lifespan; get it for Christmas, expect to get bored with it by Valentine’s Day. Or maybe it points to the Liars’ new direction: cold rhythms, hyperborean tones, sedate vocals perhaps Liars have left the German woods for the North Pole, in which case I hope they’ve cleaned up their act. Sodomy’s an easy way on to the ‘naughty’ list.