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Liars was conceived in November 2000 after two friends and ex-Los Angeles art students Aaron Hemphill and Angus Andrew reunited in New York City. They responded to a "musicians wanted" ad posted in a local record store by two Nebraskans, Pat Noecker and Ron Albertson. The lurching Aussie Andrew took on the vocal/frontman duties while Hemphill became their guitarist and drum-machine programmer. Bassist Noecker and drummer Albertson make up the Liars' rhythm section. Combined, they write music exhibiting fundamental elements of punk rock that is surprisingly formulated after the beats are laid down on the drum machine. Synthetic keypads, vocal modulation, and these interspersed pre-arranged compositions, mixed with their guitar-bass-drums equation, create angular yet melodic songs. Liars is reminiscent of U.K. groups who embraced dance music during the late '70s/early '80s -- A Certain Ratio, Gang of Four, the Slits -- bands who are all insidiously known for adding danceable rhythms to punk. Only months after forming, the group played its first show. Liars' debut album, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, was released on independent Gern Blandsten Records in October 2001 and was later reissued by Blast First/Mute. The album was recorded in just two days by producer/engineer Steve Revitte, who's best-known for this work with the Beastie Boys and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Lisa LeeKing

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