There's Always Room on the Broom EP
The creepiest part on Einstürzende Neubauten's new concept album, Perpetuum Mobile, arrives at three minutes and 33 seconds into track three. Coincidence? Vocalist Blixa Bargeld has just collapsed his own weighty voice into a whisper, miked close enough that you can hear the click of his tongue. As the silence gets heavier, his voice is reverse-looped, as if he's been sucked into a quiet wave--a spine-chilling moment on a record whose expressed theme is "a pandemonium of catastrophes."
The devil finds its other half on new Liars EP, There's Always Room on the Broom. By lovingly swiping the cover art of Neubauten's Strategies Against Architecture '80-83 (they painted a little witch's hat and broom on the EN logo), Aaron Hemphill (guitars) and Angus Andrew (vocals) make a few points, two them being: 1. the Liars are tricksters 2. the Liars are tricksters on some industrial shit.
Yet another creepy concept record from the dark Mute fortress, the Broom singles come from They Were Wrong, So We Drowned--their new album, released this Tuesday. Theme: the plight of witches, both real and imagined. (A bassist and drummer lighter than their debut record, They Threw Us All in a Trench.) The remaining Liars consummate the ideas put gingerly forth on Trench's subsequent EPs; setting out on the industrial path that's their label's legacy, they've smartly benched the uber-copped Gang-o-Four steelo of yesteryear (yeah right). The title track is the only song with disco beats, and even then a cacophonous synth sideswipes Andrew's vocals, crumpling the song into cheeky self-mockery. Elsewhere, hollow, distant rhythms replace jagged-angle guitars, Andrew's trademark barking diffused to a ghostly, listless hum ("Broom"). This stuff unveils two songwriters with more depth and vision than the hype-saddle initially allowed.
And, if EN's genius was in dispute, Perpetuum Mobile is a reminder that Liars couldn't have picked better mentors; explorations in rhythm and the vaccum thereof are diverse and playful. Even sans high-hat.