Album Review: Liberty Lies – It’s The Hope That Kills You

We’ve encountered Liberty Lies a few times, starting off with Wildfire some years ago. They’ve gone through some lineup changes and are finally on the cusp of releasing their new full-length release. There’s a release party taking place at Splinter Studios in Wednesbury on the 30th of this month, with support coming from Mallen and David Young & The Midnight Chorus. But what can you expect from the headliners…?

Fourteen tracks for a start, which is impressive in its own right – just shy of an hour of new material. In an era when many bands are going the EP route, it’s refreshing to see someone pushing the boat out with such a slab of a release. Even more impressive is the quality. From the songwriting to the musicianship to the production, this is a top notch release of which Liberty Lies should be rightfully proud.

On first listen (background music), I found myself being drawn in by a handful of the songs which is a strong indication of quality. So often I listen through to new releases and just don’t take them in. They wash past. Decent enough, but nothing that grabs me. Those that had my toe tapping enough to check the track listing and find out what the song titles were included “Four Walls”, “Mouth Breathers”, “Different Tongues”, “Coming Home” and “Are You Listening?”.

I’m not sure what really clicked for me with those tracks – the beat, the catchiness, that important “hook” – but they’re definitely the ones I’ve gone back to when skipping around the album. That’s not to say the other songs aren’t good, including the two bonus numbers at the end (“Slower” and “Blame”) which I assume will only be on a special release.

Liberty Lies have a damn good album on their hands here, one which showcases all of the band’s skills including the vocal pipes of frontman Shaun Richards. He gets a chance to really show his range between songs like “Are You Listening?” and in a far more laid back style on “Align” which will have you swaying to its piano-based backing.

If you like your rock with a bit of a sharp edge – but which can smooth itself and be gentle when it feels like it – then this album should be on your radar.

It’s The Hope That Kills You is out on November 29th

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