I frequently get called, by my otherwise lovely girlfriend, a "music snob". Whilst I admit that nothing written on this blog does much to dispel that impression, I'd have to disagree. A music snob is, in my mind, the kind of person who will deride your music taste and then, when asked what they like, offer a very aloof answer like "Oh you won't know the kind of bands I like". (An answer someone ACTUALLY GAVE once. Which would've been okay, had they not been referring to Mogwai. Y'know, Mogwai, that band that are super obscure, never heard-of, certainly not headlining the Manchester Academy and been critically acclaimed and respected for 15 years.)
I would like to think that rather enjoying being a fan of bands most people don't know, I endeavour to tell people about good bands so that they may become more well known, rather than keeping them to myself and bathing in indie kudos.
However, I found myself guilty of a snobbish blunder last week. I was on a "road trip" with a good uni friend and we were listening to some "tunes". We'd already worn out Thieving by Akira The Don so, in search for more tunes I checked my bag. In there, was Last Exit by Junior Boys- a lovely birthday present- and a new purchase, Sisterworld by Liars. Here's where my snobbiness reared its undesirable head. My friend asked that I put it on, and I did, but in the back of my mind I was going "Oh dear, I don't think he'd like Liars. They are a bit too weird and experimental".
In my defence, Liars have always been a band that I had ambivalent feelings about. "They Were Wrong, So We Drowned" and "Drum's Not Dead" are both great albums, once you accept that they have no problem with whetting your appetite with a nice drum beat or catchy synth warble and then cut it dead and go into ambient squawks for ages before coming back to the song's 'meat and potatoes'.
But my mind was changed on them after seeing them live (with Deerhunter supporting, great gig). It's there that there blend of delirious drums and guitar squeals 'n' rumbles make perfect sense.
So yes, whilst it was very bad of me to assume my friend wouldn't like them, it was based on my not being to convinced by them on my first listening.
Fortunately I needn't have worried as the new Liars album is amazing Opening track Scissor has eerie high pitched choral backing vocals and pounding out-of-nowhere guitar attacks- which have been Liars trademarks for ages- yet for some reason it is less abrasive and unbelievably more pop-minded and accessible whilst still remaining true to its weird roots. Something Radiohead have always been capable of, clearly Liars were taking note when they supported Thom Yorke's crew on their US tour.
So basically, don't assume that just because a band have an experimental and difficult past, that their new album won't impress your friends. And if a band release an album as good as Sisterworld, don't keep it to yourself, tell people about it.