is a three-piece band formed in 2000 consisting of Angus Andrew (vocals/guitar), Aaron Hemphill (percussion, guitar, synth), and Julian Gross (drums). Although initially lumped into the New York dance-punk scene of the early 21st century, they have come to be categorized by their dramatic stylistic shifts between albums, while retaining a consistent interest in rhythm and sound texture.Formative yearsThe genesis of the band can be traced to Los Angeles, where Andrew (and Gross) were enrolled at Cal Arts, studying in the Photography Program. Hemphill had studied microbiology in Junior College in San Diego, but was then employed in LA at a record store. Upon meeting, Andrew and Hemphill began their collaboration on four-track recordings. Once Andrew had completed art school, they relocated to New York together and after responding to a well-placed want ad, Pat Noecker (bass, formerly of Neuromancer, Urethra Franklin, and Opium Taylor) and Ron Albertson (drums, formerly of Mercy Rule) joined to become the band's rhythm section.
They Threw Us All In A Trench And Stuck A Monument On Top (2001–2002)
Liars' debut album They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top
was released on the 30th October, 2001. Recorded in a mere two days with producer Steve Revitte, the album bore resemblance to the work of Delta 5 and Gang of Four, accenting their angular, acerbic punk with modern synths and drum machines. The album generated interest in the band and gained them a following amongst the post-punk revival scene of New York. It was during this time they were interviewed and filmed in performance for the documentary Kill Your Idols
, along with bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Black Dice. Liars were not averse to this attention, but the problem of being pigeon-holed became a pressing challenge for the band to overcome.As a four-piece, Liars were only to release two more short EPs. The first was entitled We No Longer Knew Who We Were
; it was an official release of the band's early demos recorded in 2000. The second, however, showcased new material. Fins to Make Us More Fish-Like
(November 2002) showed progression from their signature sound, but without any material that would seem significantly out of place on their debut. Most noteworthy, perhaps, is "Every Day Is a Child with Teeth", which concentrates more on sound texture and tense, stuttering percussion than the more danceable rhythms for which they had come to be known.