August 16, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
We gave it a B+

Two brawling new rock crews with scary frontmen graft punk’s New York City roots onto new stock. Liars hail from Brooklyn, N.Y., where Knicks-size singer/Aussie expat Angus Andrew has been flailing through some of the best live sets in town. His band’s jerky, wired punk-funk sound salutes ’80s underground heroes like the Contortions, Liquid Liquid, and ESG (sampled on “Tumbling Walls….”), with a bit of Public Image Ltd. and Gang of Four tossed in. And when Andrew howls “We’ve got our fingers on the pulse of America,” you know he was born for this job. Division of Laura Lee, like their pals the Hives, call Sweden home. But their initials don’t spell doll for nothing. They swagger through their Scandinavian scuzz-rock, mixing butched-up New York Dolls and punched-up Stooges, while vocalist Per Stalberg brandishes the word need like a blackjack. PARANOIA-INDUCING MOMENT The police sirens on Division’s “Need to Get Some” will keep you checking your rearview. Monument: B+ City: B+

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