The first thing I actually want to do here is apologise for the fact that this review has taken absolutely forever to see the light of day. In the last couple of months it has been a real challenge trying to balance work (As in making actual money to live) and running this site and in the process a few projects have fallen by the wayside. However, I am doing my absolute best to try and catch up and get back up to speed so with a bit of luck everything should be as it should very soon.
One of the aforementioned projects which got put on the backburner was Fracture the latest EP offering from the Black Country’s very own Liberty Lies.
Liberty Lies are Shaun Richards (Lead vocals) Josh Pritchett (Guitar, backing vocals) Liam Billings (Guitar, backing vocals) Adam Howell (Bass) and Adam Stevens (Drums, backing vocals)
To cut a long story short (Very unlike me I know) I saw the band live last year and they absolutely blew me away so I was more than a little excited to be given the chance to review the new record. In all honesty I’m not really sure what I was expecting when I hit play for the first time but without doubt this record delivers on absolutely every level.
Undivided sets the tone for the entire record in absolutely break neck fashion. Straight from the off the listener is thrown straight into a whirlwind of pounding drums and chaotic guitar riffs reminiscent of one of my favourite bands Alter Bridge. It’s a great way to start things off and shows exactly what this band are all about; straight hard rock, no fancy studio wizardry, no fuss. The next track Circles is slightly on the lighter side and was the lead single from the project and by the time you get to the first spin of the chorus is it is pretty obvious why.
It’s not one of those tracks that will grab you instantly but bit by bit and listen by listen it will get under your skin. The hook has quite a big anthemic feel to it and the vocal from Richards dominates the track in the best way possible.
I can’t really put my finger on quite why I really like the intro to penultimate track Vultures. It’s just kind of jerky; it gets your head bobbing and has something of an old school Papa Roach about it. On a record full of shining moments this track for me shines the brightest. It three and a half minutes it encapsulates exactly why I really rate this band. The guitars crunch, the rhythm section thunders and the vocal soars. What the EP and this track in particular do very well is capture the power and the raw energy of the bands live performances. It doesn’t sound too polished, the rockiness is there for all to hear so a round of applause for producer Romesh Dodangoda on that one.
The EP’s final and title track sees the band shed a little bit of the smoothness which has been a feature of the record up to now. The main guitar riff is more jarring, but contrasts brilliantly against a mellower section in the final third of the track. This record was never going to go out with a whimper but the growling guitars and concussive drums mean that it goes out with one hell of bang.
For my money Fracture is about one real standout and signature guitar riff/solo short of perfection. Everything is just totally on point. You simply can’t argue with the way the songs are put together, the musicianship, the vocals or the production. There is something for everyone on here. It might be real early doors as far as 2015 is concerned but I can promise you that between now and December 31st you will not hear many records better than this.
Fracture is available now on iTunes.