Review by Andy Hawes for MPM
I was first introduced to Sons of Liberty when they supported US Southern Rockers Preacher Stone on their last UK tour, and a mighty fine show they put on too! Since then, Sons of Liberty have recruited a new lead vocalist Russ Grimmett and he has added significantly to Sons of Liberty’s already very substantial arsenal of talent.
So, what does The Detail is in the Devil sound like? Well, it’s got an absolutely fabulous sound! Just one listen to the opening track and single ‘Time To Fly’ demonstrates a band that is firing on all cylinders. There is a gloriously meaty roar to the guitars, a wonderfully thick overdrive that screams ‘Classic Rock’. As an opening track, ‘Time To Fly’ hits home like an out of control juggernaut; all huge riffs and hooky vocals. The guitar riffs in the verses remind me a little of early Def Leppard with that same chugging loveliness that characterised their High & Dry album over 40 years ago. But don’t get the idea that this sounds dated. Far from it, matey! This is the sound of big, brash and bold Classic Rock at its best!
Second track and single ‘Light The Fuse’ is a colossal beast of a track with huge and chunky guitars driven by pounding drums and pumping bass. It’s got a huge shout-along chorus hook too. Nothing fancy, in rather the same way that AC/DC do on all of their best tracks, but hugely powerful and full of fist-pumping energy. It’ll be killer live for sure.
‘Turn This Tide’ takes the pedal off the metal just a little and I’m noticing a little more of an American influence creeping in here, kinda like Lynyrd Skynyrd with a modern and up-to-date production. There’s a bit of American swagger to ‘Tertulia Time’ too with another huge chant-along chorus. It’s at this point in my first play-through that I realised that one of the reasons I’m enjoying this album is because of the excellent production and mix. There’s a delightful clarity to everything here and there’s no sacrificing power for that clarity. The drums snap and crack beautifully and the bass is perfectly audible beneath the thick swathes of guitar, while the vocals sit perfectly within it all. It’s not over-compressed either, which is a very good thing. Whoever produced and mixed this should take a bow!!
Sons of Liberty slow things down a bit for ‘Walk With You’ with a bit more jangle to the guitars on this lovely mid-paced Southern Rock styled anthem. The hooks on this are a little less obvious, but they worm their way in and by the third or fourth play through, they are in there! The guitars are particularly fine on this track; subtle, beautifully restrained yet still driving everything along and the solo is a real delight – nothing fancy, but perfectly pitched for the song (which can be a rarity in these days of YouTube super-shredders.) Fred Hale and Andy Muse – take a bow, gentlemen! Damned fine job!
After the gentle subtlety of ‘Walk With You’, the band kick things back up a gear for ‘What’s a Man Supposed To Do’ which reminds me a little of Thunder (which is most definitely a compliment!) Kicking ass in all the right ways and with plenty of melody, this is another hugely anthemic track. It is followed by the oddly-titled ‘Hawk Men Come’ which, with a title like that, sounds like it could be an ode to the old Flash Gordon sci-fi show/movie. Musically, it has a wonderful minor-key slow paced vibe with jangling electric guitars, acoustic guitars and subtle keyboards.
Grimmett’s voice is drenched in reverb on this one and he sounds absolutely fabulous as he stretches for those high notes and gently croons on the quieter parts. It is a quite wonderful change of pace and a highlight of an already great body of work.
Slightly Eastern-sounding guitars open ‘Love What You’ve Got’, which soon explodes into another riff-fuelled rocker driven by drummer Steve Byrne and bassist Mark Thomas whose work throughout the album is as tight as the proverbial duck’s bottom! The chorus on this beauty has some fabulous harmony vocals too. Classy Hard Rock of the highest order!
Things don’t let up one iota as the band launch into the stop-start riffery of ‘Libertine’ which continues the theme of massive guitars and highly melodic vocals, with more quite delicious harmony vocals in both the pre-chorus and chorus before another quite wonderfully tasteful guitar solo.
‘I’ve Got The Sky’ is up next and drops the pace with more of the jangling guitars, subtle keyboards and acoustics providing the perfect backdrop to Russ Grimmett’s fabulous vocals. The arrangement and production on this is superb, with everything building subtly across the first half of the song before it breaks out into an almost Country-Rock vibe for the playout – unexpected and very effective indeed!
Sons of Liberty close this wonderful album with ‘Well’s Run Dry’ which is more of what has made the album such a brilliant listen. Melodic, powerful and with a warm, comfortable vibe, it already feels like an old friend.
There’s a lot of Rock music out there and it’s easy for bands to get lost in the crowd but it would be a crime if that were to happen to The Detail is in the Devil by Sons of Liberty.This really is a fabulous slice of home-grown British Hard Rock music. Its strengths actually lie in the fact that it makes no pretence: it is simply real, honest high-quality Hard Rock music – nothing fancy, but absolutely fantastic! Every member of the band puts in a quite brilliant performance and the production and mix is truly superb. If you’ve never heard of Sons of Liberty for goodness sake check this album out when it is released next month and if you get the chance to see them live do so! Absolutely fabulous stuff!!
The band follow up the release with a ten date tour which commences March 1st at The Patriot in Crumlin, South Wales running through to 23rd March when the band support Reef at the Corporation in Sheffield. Be sure to catch the world’s most popular British Southern Rock Band at one of the dates.
Support on all headline dates will come from The Mike Ross Band. Tickets for the shows available here: www.sonsoflibertyband.com/shows
‘The Detail Is In The Devil’ album will be self-released Friday 23rd February 2024. The album is available to pre-order now from www.sonsofliberty.bigcartel.com.