Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Album Review: Lies Lied Live by Billy Liar

Billy Liar is an angry young man from Edinburgh who plays fantastic acoustic punk rock. He's someone I've been listening to for a while and I finally got to see him live at the Manchester Punk Festival back in April. Recently he released a new live album named Lies Lied Live, which features live recordings of some new songs, some older songs and a cover song. 

The opening song, Some Nights, is the first of five unreleased songs on the album. It starts off with Billy explaining to the crowd how the soundman said he shouldn't open with the song because it's unwelcoming. Of course Billy ignored this and played the song which is about finding it difficult to leave the house. The song is short but played at a fast pace with Billy's unmistakable vocal shining through. The song Change is up next and is my favourite Billy Liar song. It's an angry anthem where Billy screams out for something different from the punk rock scene. He wants to see more passionate music that inspires people to make a difference. This is exactly what Billy is doing himself with this up-tempo classic. The next unreleased song is third track Who I've Become. This track starts out with some angry guitar strumming before getting mellow with Billy's vocals taking over the spotlight. On the recording his live style comes to the forefront as well, randomly going off on tangents and losing his place in the song, all whilst never losing any of his charm as a performer.

The fourth song on the album is a cover of Withered Hand’s No Cigarettes. I've never heard of Withered Hands or the song No Cigarettes so obviously I can't give a proper comparison but I can say that I really enjoyed Billy's version of the track. For the fifth song Billy took a request from the crowd and decided to play another unreleased song named The Coast Is Clear, a break up song. This is another example of Billy going off on a tangent and losing his place in a song. I really loved the passionate build in the middle of the song; it really grabs the attention of the listener before a more mellow ending to the song.

The fifth song - Is It Me from 2009's It Starts Here EP - is another fast paced acoustic punk jam with a big chorus. Throughout the song Billy questions whether or not alcohol is to blame for things happening to him or does it ultimately rest on him. The next song on Lies Lied Live is another unreleased track called Noose. On this song there is a lot of emotion in Billy's vocals on what feels like a deeply personal song. It's about the loss of a brother, questioning why it happened and trying to deal with the loss. The penultimate song is All I've Got from 2013's EP with the same name. The beginning of the track has Billy showing the crowd how to join in with the song, which basically involves them going "aaah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah." All I've Got is a love song about meeting that special person who becomes your world. Billy's storing telling style in this track is absolutely superb and really manages to paint a picture of a couple’s interaction together. Lies Lied Live finishes with its final new song Words. This is one last angry outburst about running out of words to explain things. The tempo of the song is fast and there is real venom in Billy's voice. I really like that Billy plays a lot of faster songs, very often acoustic artists rely heavily on slower songs, many of which are lacking in any real passion. Words, and Lies Lied Live, is the complete opposite of that.

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