Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Kill Yr Idols: Blood on the Wall, Liferz

Somewhere in the space between irreverence and trepidation, Liferz stands atop a mound of garbage flipping you the bird. The second LP from Brooklyn trio Blood on the Wall, Liferz (like its predecessor, Awesomer) blends the noisy, 90's, post-punk styles of groups like Pixies, Sonic Youth and... just about all of the other bands you think I am about to list. More than a laundry list of influences, though, Blood on the Wall embrace their derivative nature and yelp into the face of gratuity; brashly announcing their presence in spite of it all.

It's all kind of exhausting and fun at the same time. What Liferz lacks in tact or modesty, it more than makes up for with an all-too-deliberate arsenal of layered, muddy guitars; vicious, one-take drum tracks; not to mention, an always invigorating and visceral vocal trade-off between brother and sister Courtney and Brad Shanks. The formation of all of these elements leads to something far more appetizing than you might expect. Granted, while it is mostly kind of nasty in delivery, Liferz is not with out its poppy charms. Most of these tracks are short without being too short (like some attempt at brash punk-ness) and the tone of the album is mostly snotty as opposed to ASSHOLIAN.

Liferz ultimately calls to mind the groups to which Blood on the Wall are paying homage, without branding themselves to deeply. Blood on the Wall have spent most of their short career walking on one side of the thin line between influence and charlatanism. With Liferz, they have easily risen above this distinction with steadfast resolve and technical nonchalance. Liferz may not push any envelopes itself, but it does seem to hint toward a sort of future... redefinition, at times--and, I dunno, that's kind of awesome to me.

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