Liars/Oneida - Atheists, Reconsider (Cover Artwork)

Liars / Oneida

Atheists, Reconsider (2002)

Arena Rock

A warning to the infidels: Liars and Oneida have donned their Crusade-era armor and lifted their lances in a valiant effort to convert the masses. The two seemed like a logical combination for an EP; Liars' danceable art-punk would fit quite nicely alongside Oneida?s lo-fi rock assault. Would. Unfortunately, the angels have inspired Liars to experiment with unfriendly or even nonexistent melodies. Can Oneida be the savior for a plague of an EP? Only God knows. Well, until the end of this review.

What's that? Don't like God? Not a big fan? Try to sustain that skepticism after being graced by this gospel of conviction! It's called Atheists, Reconsider, and it is 100% guaranteed to convert! But just how does it convince a lifelong atheist to suddenly believe in something they can neither see nor touch? Let's examine.

Liars kicks off the Jesus party with 'Rose and Licorice,' a cover of a song originally written by Oneida. Liars really doesn't do too much with it; of course, they showcase their hallmark distorted vocals and drum machine mixed with 'real' drums, but the song remains largely the same. Oneida strikes another blow for Christianity with 'Privilege,' a hard-hitting minute-and-a-half hi-hat-a-thon. They clang, bang and chant their way to the Heavens and back faster than you can say Corinthians 5:18.

Liars contributes to the Crusade with their first original song of the record, 'All in All a Careful Party.' Gone is the danceable art-punk groove of They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top; the brooding, clanging, awkward anti-song is here. Abrasive noise and chanting vocals cover banged out percussion with a bouncing bass line popping in for a minutes? visit like Jesus to the Disciples. The only thing that saves this otherwise pitiful song is the infectious chant gracing the middle.

Oneida's 'Fantastic Morgue' and cover of Liars' 'Every Day Is a Child with Teeth' are quite possibly the only things that really justify this EP's existence. 'Fantastic Morgue' is Oneida's best song in recent memory, but still falls short of anything special. Oneida keeps the two-chord grandiose of Liars' 'Every Day Is a Child with Teeth' and really contribute nothing but their characteristic sound to it.

The final commandment is the 'This Dust Makes That Mud' (a five minute song followed by 25 minutes of one repeated loop on their full-length) of Atheists, Reconsider. At seven and a half minutes, it's not as long, but it's just as useless. More clanging percussion (apparently they were on a budget for this EP and went drum-less, relying instead on kitchen spoons and metal tables for percussion) is the only real musical element here. The rest of the sonic waste that is 'Dorothy Taps the Toe of the Tinman' consists of fuzzy, tuneless guitar and background conversation. It remains basically unchanging for the duration of the 'song,' disregarding the highly distorted, slightly tuneful keyboards in the final 15 seconds.

If you aren't convinced by the end of this EP, you DESERVE eternal damnation! Err? Honestly though, I have never been a fan of Oneida. I bought this EP for Liars' tracks. After They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, they'd have me buying anything. Sadly, though, it is Oneida that carries this EP, and while Liars could have entertained a lo-fi fight to the death for sonic supremacy, they forfeit before the match even begins. Who knows? Maybe Liars was just pissed off about being called 'The biggest cachet of cool since the White Stripes and the Strokes played together last summer' (, but really, that's no excuse to release an EP chock-full of experimental shit. I don't know who they were trying to convert with this junk, but if this is divine inspiration, I'd rather they work alone.

Vocals - Liars 7.4 Oneida 7.0
Lyrics - Liars 5.4 Oneida 6.5
Instrumentation - Liars 1.3 Oneida 6.9
Production - Liars 3.9 Oneida 7.0
Cover Art/Booklet - 7.0

Overall score (not an average): 4.2

10.0 - Flawless
9.5-9.9 - Nearly perfect
9.0-9.4 - Essential
8.5-8.9 - Spectacular
8.0-8.4 - Highly recommended
7.5-7.9 - Impressive
7.0-7.4 - Very solid
6.5-6.9 - Consistent, but not without its flaws
6.0-6.4 - Enjoyable
5.5-5.9 - Better than average; not many standout qualities
5.0-5.4 - Nothing special, but nice enough
4.0-4.9 - Listenable; only a few enjoyable moments
3.0-3.9 - Not worth the price
2.0-2.9 - Pitiful
1.0-1.9 - Terrifying
0.1-0.9 - Redefines awful
0.0 - Avoid it like the plague