Album Review - Ivan Beecroft - Liars, Freaks & Fools

Ivan Beecroft gives rock a shot in the arm with Liars, Freaks & Fools
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On his latest album, Liars, Freaks & Fools, Ivan Beecroft wanted to get back to the guitar-oriented rock he heard in the pubs in his native Australia in the 1980s and 1990s. In his own words, he wanted to "turn people back on to this music". If the guitar gods are just, Liars, Freaks & Fools will accomplish just that. The music offers a fresh take on a classic rock sound, with Beecroft wearing his influences on his sleeve, channeling the likes of AC/DC, Cheap Trick, and Nirvana, without sounding derivative. 

The album opens with the driving hard rock of "Inequality." An edgy track, it mixes ringing guitars over a synth backdrop that recalls Cheap Trick's "Downed," with socially conscious lyrics about not being treated well. Beecroft's deep baritone contrasts nicely with the song's pop sensibilities and big chorus, making for a standout track and killer opener.

"Deranged" has a bit of a 1960s psychedelic vibe. Beecroft, who played all the instruments, propels the song with a strong drum track and a memorable guitar riff. His vocals are defiant. When he sings, "I'm not like the things you say," the listener feels his frustration.

On "Shame On You," Beecroft gets into a funky bass and drum groove while channeling the 1990s with his Alice In Chains-like harmonies. Beecroft shows off his considerable guitar chops here with a blistering guitar break.

Beecroft continues his 90s trend on "Shattered Dreams," a song that conjures up images of Nirvana with its quiet-loud-quiet guitar pattern with the pop sensibilities of Cheap Trick. Kurt Cobain used to say Nirvana was like Cheap Trick with louder guitars anyways, so it makes sense when Beecroft pays homage to this sound. 

"Bad Company," is not the song by the group of the same name, but it sounds like it could have come from that era with its massive riffs. Beecroft thrives with this familiar sound, yet pushes it forward enough to not sound like a cheap imitation. 

The album closes with the up-tempo "Let It Go." A potent track, it features killer drumming, a strong riff and great guitar throughout. It's a fine finish to a rocking album.

Beecroft's guitar tone is killer throughout the record, sounding like a Les Paul plugged into a vintage Marshall amp cranked up to 11. His influences are clear, but make no mistake, this is no tired old sound. This is riff rock like they used to make and, if Beecroft has anything to say about it, will make once more.

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