This is a band that can make extremely challenging albums and knows it. But Liars isn't so different after all, expanding on the brooding, angsty mood that Dead established. "Houseclouds" is a repetitive, marching synth anthem. In contrast, paranoia-funneling tracks like "The Dumb in the Rain" and "Leather Prowler" aren't catchy at all.
There's a newfound looseness here too. Their sound and lyrics had previously been highly correlated throughout an album. But not having a concept makes Liars even harder to get -- a "Here, chew on this for a bit, you'll like it, we swear" feeling of dread and uncertainty, the one characteristic the band has never abandoned. A masterpiece? No. Disturbingly solid noise? Sure.