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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
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+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
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+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Oneida/ Liars
Atheists, Reconsider
Arena Rock

I was 8 the first time my uncle let me watch "Eddie Murphy Raw." Later that same day I received my first mix tape when he secretly gave me other Eddie Murphy comedy routines interspersed amidst various Aerosmith songs. While the Toys in the Attic tracks have lost their majestic sheen since my youth, "Buckwheat" and "Hit by a Car" will never cease to be anything but ingenious. Due in part to this tape, it was during this time in my life that I first learned the pitfalls of attempting to "cover" another artist's material. Also known as "The Thanksgiving of Infamy," my attempt to perform routines just like my hero Eddie Murphy failed miserably from the point of view of my aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. I had barely gotten through the second "n*gga, please!" before I was jerked into the next room and severely spanked. I learned from that experience two things: to avoid attempts to perform/cover what is beyond your scope of understanding or ability, and also to be wary of your audience.

Oneida and Liars cannot be criticized for disobeying the latter of the two cautionary lessons above. Their recent split EP, Atheists, Reconsider, is one of those rare releases that leave indie-hipsters gushing at the possibilities. Neo-psychedelica/noise-rock artists Oneida could potentially have a lot to offer the post-rock/experimental Liars, and vice versa, especially with the added enticement/promise that the artists cover one song each from the other's catalogue.

The first song of this collaboration leaves the pledge, for the most part, fulfilled, as a fast beat and a harpsichord drone signal The Liars' interpretation of "Rose and Licorice," off of Oneida's Anthem of the Moon. This is a completely different musical setting for the band, as they channel a '60s-era pop tune through a mid-'90s "alternative" sound (think ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead vocals with the recording fidelity found on the first Television Personalities album), culminating ultimately in more familiar territory for the group, a noise orgy of ascending airplanes with a fading wall of feedback.

"All in All a Careful Party," the second song offered by The Liars on the disc, unfortunately pales in comparison to their material from prior albums and EPs. It seems like a failed remake of "I Hate Stupid Phones," off the We No Longer Knew Who We Were EP, with the vocals buried even deeper beneath a neutered drum line. The song is nearly bereft of the interesting and danceable bottom-heavy bass found on their first album; it's replaced instead with what sounds like children's instruments, making the song nearly unrecognizable as a Liars track.

The Liars's final contribution is the noise conglomeration "Dorothy Taps the Toe of the Tinman," a seven-minute-plus opus that will probably be remembered as their best song when, 30 years from now, they are hailed as geniuses by The Wire. Regardless of their avant-garde credibility, this song still sounds to me like something any person with a spoon and two pots could create if they had the radio turned up really loud in the foreground.

Luckily, there is a flip side to The Liars' offering, in the three Oneida songs to be had on the EP. Their choice of cover is The Liars' live staple "Every Day Is a Child With Teeth." The song is recognizable but keeps the distinct sound of the band, with the ebb and flow of electronic fluctuations punctuating what could potentially be a monotonous beat if it wasn't for the chanted chorus, fuzzy intermittent guitar, and greatly distorted harpsichord drone that concludes with a near-industrial din.

The cover differs greatly from Oneida's own "Privilege," which undoubtedly packs the most noise into the shortest song. A hyperactive drone that utilizes feedback to its fullest extent, the track is the closest either group comes to making good on the title of the album. Played at the proper volume, the incessant rhythm will place its hand to your forehead and beg for the "demons to be exorcised," making good on this threat with an anthemic coda of sheer major-chord force.

Of course, if that isn't enough to satiate your craving for sonic miasma, you can look toward to "Fantastic Morgue," which may just be the strongest song on the EP. It's good to know that brilliant gems of hard and fast "rawk" are continuing to be produced without dulling the shine of innovators come and gone. This track is, in the end, the catchiest tune on the disc, being one of those songs that creep up on you while at work, in the kitchen, or even in the john.

There is no doubt that if you are already a fan of either band that this will wind up in your collection, but if you are new to either, especially The Liars, my suggestion is to start elsewhere. Both groups show better judgment within the confines of their own creations. If only someone had given me the same advice I might still have my copy of "Eddie Murphy: Comedian" and I wouldn't carry a familial stigma during the holiday season.

by Andrew Bryant

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