Review by Jason Guest
Self-released (Artwork to follow)
A far cry from the blackened, the bleak, and the brutal that is my usual fare, I’ve been a fan of Liberty Lies since I first saw them in the back room at the now-defunct Dudley dump JBs in July 2009. Only eleven months into their existence, they gave that show their all. There was hardly anybody there and they played like it was an arena packed with ardent fans who knew every line and every note of their set. Even then, they had the songs, they had the stage presence, and they had the potential. Their development from a G ‘n R-sleazed, Aerosmith-tinged classic rock band was a rapidly-fading memory with their 2010 EP, New Addiction, where their sound established them as a much more modern and mature band with both the desire and the capacity to create their own distinctive sound. And so, here we are in 2013 with their début album, Reflections, where we see Liberty Lies realising that potential.
An irresistible opener, with ‘As The Blind See The Blind’ the floodgates are open and Liberty Lies’ strengths are on full display: melodic and moving vocals, a hook-laden chorus, and the first of many surprises: a stirring acoustic solo over a compelling and powerful rhythm section. By track two, it’s apparent that playing with the likes of Gun, Magnum, Black Spiders, Richie Kotzen, Shinedown, and many more top notch artists, Liberty Lies seized those opportunities to learn from both the bands and their crowds to find out who they were and what they could do. Where the simplicity of the conventional verse/chorus approach is enough to satisfy many bands and fans alike – and when done well, can be very good – Liberty Lies approach is much more developed and infinitely more gratifying. Just when you think they’ll take one path, they divert you through another wholly different and more exhilarating route. That such a daring approach to song-writing and structure could easily threaten the very essence of a song, Liberty Lies have an ability to make it all sound so fluid and, well, natural. Where the slow intro to ‘Spoken Silence’ and the mid-tempo ‘Phobia’ opens up an expansive vista for Shaun’s emotive vocals, the dirty riffs of tracks such as ‘Someone Else’ and ‘Russian Dolls’ give the band the chance to hit hard. With hooks aplenty, sing-along choruses, and melodies and lead breaks that stay with you long after each track – and the album – is over, Reflections is a beast of a record.
Liberty Lies is a band all of their own. They are heavy without being metal, they’re rock without being generic or “classic” and they’re “modern” without being cliché. More Miles Kennedy/Brent Smith than Axl Rose/Steven Tyler, Shaun’s vocals are stronger than ever, his range broader, his expression compounded by his emotional and passionate delivery of every line, every word, and every syllable. Alongside Shaun, the dynamic control of Josh and Matt’s combined lead-work and riffs are balanced by Wolfie’s pulsating and melodic lines. And like the band’s song-writing, Adam’s drumming is richer, his beats more complex and subtly nuanced and intricately suited to the music. The result is a unit with a common goal manifest in eleven remarkable songs. Delivered by a band firing on all cylinders, with as much style as substance, Reflections deserves to get this band the recognition they deserve. All you need to do is go see them live and get hold of this. You won’t be disappointed.
9 out of 10
- For more details on Liberty Lies, visit them here
- As The Blind See The Blind
- The Curtain Call
- Spoken Silence
- Someone Else
- Confessions Of An Effigy
- The Difference Between Hope And Faith
- Walk On Water
- Russian Dolls
- Beggars Belief