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Thieves And Liars - 2009 American Rock N Roll

ARTIST: Thieves And Liars
ALBUM: American Rock N Roll
LABEL: Dreamt Music
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Joey Bradford - vocals, bass * Cory Edelmann - guitars * Kyle Rosa - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 American Rock N Roll * 02 Let's Rock * 03 Walking By My Side * 04 Fight Song * 05 Till The Walls Fall Down * 06 Killed A Man * 07 Promised Land * 08 Revelation * 09 Prodigal Son * 10 Charlie



Aah, finally, a band worth writing about it - if only for their contradictions. San Diego's Thieves And Liars will happily tell you they are the power trio from hell. A classic reinvention of Led Zeppelin meets AC/DC, shaking up a high octane dosage of 70's classic rock that only power trios of that era can deliver. All of that hyperbole might give you that impression, but here's the catch.. These boys have a Christian set of sensibilities about them (so they are not from hell, perhaps heaven?), plus, 'American Rock N Roll' is their second album, but their 2008 debut 'When Dreams Become Reality' was (by all accounts) a 70 minute Pink Floyd like workout based around the Old Testament story of Joseph (son of Jacob). So you can see why all the Holy Rollers got excited. Though the new album is halved in time, and prog like tendencies have been replaced by good old 'American Rock N Roll', I would like to say that Led Zeppelin are in fact British, and AC/DC are in fact Australian, plus the New and Old Testaments originate in the Middle East.. so I'm not quite sure where Messrs Bradford, Edelmann and Rosa are going with this American Rock N Roll thing.. haha!

The Songs
Though the music is hard core classic 70's rock, there are enough subtle Christian hints in the lyrical message. I guess that Kings Of Leon came from that very background before fame and stardom (plus booze and chicks) got in the way. Not that Thieves And Liars are gonna play copycat. Jimmy Page should really take a listen to these guys, maybe Lenny Wolf too, and admire just what a three-piece can do when the inspiration gets ya! Joey Bradford literally bleeds broken glass and nails with his voice, take a listen to the 70's fuzz rocker title track for starters. AC/DC is the obvious reference on 'Let's Rock', a simplistic rocker with a ton of attitude, not unlike last years surprise contenders from Down Under - Airbourne. Similarly, the riffs are rough and ready on 'Walking By My Side', but if you listen carefully to the lyrics, the Christian message comes shining through.. King Jesus is all.. 'Fight Song' sees Corey Edelmann firing off Angus Young licks like some thirsty alleycat, whereas 'Till The Walls Fall Down' is more composed, but still very much Acka Dacka during their Bon Scott era. T&L's love of the delta blues is bought to life on 'Killed A Man', a fast paced rant about a murderer on the run. Very typical southern rock in style. The Christian references rears its head again on 'Promised Land' though you'd be hard pressed to make the connection through the riff and din on display. I liked the old style 70's rock on 'Revelation'. Pick the eyes out of this one, everything from early 70's to American styled punk a la The Dictators and bands of that ilk. Edelman's sets up some crushing riffs on 'Prodigal Son', plus he manages to find time to dish up some slide guitar antics. The closer 'Charlie' starts out with a 'Bad To The Bone' like intro, but eventually changes pace to an upbeat like AC/DC speed. In this tale, Charlie is some sort of blues guitar hero.

In Summary
Wow, pretty damned hard-hitting outfit, not bad for a three piece. Wouldn't mind seeing these guys live if the energy on this CD is anything to go by. The music and the lyrics seem to blend in well, but don't go and try and be a clever dick and understand their message, because you'll have a hard time trying to make sense of Joey Bradford's 'whiskey and glass' laced vocals. Fans of 70's classic rock with a nod to Zep and Acka should investigate immediately.

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