The Liabilities are a 4-piece from Macon, Georgia consisting of Aaron Irons (lead vocals, guitar), Justin Smith (bass, backing vocals), Brandon Fickler (lead guitar, vocals) and Josh Smith (drums). From listening to their debut self-titled disc, you’d have no idea it was recorded in a 10×30 foot storage shed in Columbia, South Carolina during the hot summer months. But it was. What you may discern, however, is that these guys love Steve Earle’s Guitar Town, some old southern rockabilly and anything by The Ramones.
The disc opens with the sing-a-long “Great Big Highway” a song that harkens back to Earle’s hit “Someday,” and the jangle of the guitars mix well with the band’s harmonies. From there on out, Aaron Irons and Co. jump from tunes that should be humming from alt-country fan’s radio dials (“Hey Mary”) to the pure punk of “One Bottle” and “Clone A Ramone” and back to the straight up rock and roll of “Barbwire and Bone.” I have a feeling these guys would be at home whether they were playing a seedy biker bar or a family picnic. Although, there may be a few unmarked brown bags if they were playing that picnic.
The overall vibe of the disc seems to be from the perspective of a dreamer…someone who’s tired of where they are…someone who’s ready to put the past behind and take off for new horizons. Here’s hoping that this solid debut will help The Liabilities get to where they want to be. For now, they’re stuck on my I-Pod.
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