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Liar: Sunset Plaza Drive
Liar - Sunset Plaza Drive Art Work

Liar: Sunset Plaza Drive

Classic Melodic Hard Rock

Some fans of Seventies classic rock, mostly from England I suspect, will remember Liar. Formed in 1975, the band went on to release to well-received albums: 1977's Straight From The Hip and 1978's Set The World On Fire. The latter album, and the title track single, found Liar making a significant play for the American market, and a tour supporting Styx. However, that fell through. Later in 1978, labels Delta and Bearsville sent Liar off to Hollywood to record a third studio album at Stevie Wonder's Crystal Studio. But, like the failed Styx tour, the album was never released (although there was a vinyl test pressing released in Germany in June 1979; good luck scoring that one). But now to the present day.

Liar - Click For Larger Image

Liar: Circa 1977/1978

With the cooperation of the remaining members of Liar, Escape Music A&R captain and huge Liar fan, Khalil Turk has acquired these dormant recordings, finally releasing the third album, Sunset Plaza Drive. The title refers to the street in the Hollywood Hills where Liar stayed in a house adjacent to Mick Fleetwood. The album offers ten new songs from that 1978 session as well as the popular Blame It On The Kids from their first album. Additionally, remaining living Liar members, Steve Mann (Michael Schenker Fest, Lionheart), Paul Travis, Dave Taylor and Dave Burton, have recorded and included another new song. Woman was written by guitarist Paul Travis shortly after the band broke up following a successful sell out tour supporting UFO. It was at one of those shows where Turk was captivated by the band, and started a lifelong pursuit to have the third album released.

With that lengthy history, past and present, duly noted, let's consider the Liar classic rock sound from Sunset Plaza Drive. To these ears, Liar definitely falls within the realm of Seventies UK hard rock, and I find it no surprise they toured with UFO. Though Liar does not sound like UFO, who I always thought had more a metalish side to them, Liar shares some same musical characteristics. One is Dave Burton's assertive, yet clean and melodic, vocal style. His clear voice exudes both passion and enthusiasm. Another significant element is the slamming rhythm section of bassist Dave Taylor and drummer Clive Brooks (RIP). More specifically, the bass line is well heard and rambunctious (ala Pete Way) throughout this album. Another complimentary characteristic is the lingering piano lines found in many songs, some lines with something of a blues feeling. After these things, Liar's tunes turn on the sine qua non classic rock necessities of song melody, vocal harmony, crafty choruses, and blazing guitar solos.

As for the songs, I found myself leaning more towards those which were more notably lively, working the rock groove, and offering a quicker pace. These songs would include Do You Ever, Teens, Midnight Lady, Brand New World, and the recently recorded Woman, which has something of a Toto AOR vibe in the keyboards. Alternatively, the song You Ain't No Fighting Man seemed slow and plodding, but yet I sensed a latent blues vibe. That blues groove rises again within the slow burning ballad, I Got A Feeling.

All in all, if you were, and still are, a fan of England's Liar, you will likely completely enjoy Sunset Plaza Drive, a recently rediscovered and newly released musical gem. Recommended. - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

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The Bottom Line

All in all, if you were, and still are, a fan of England's Liar, you will likely completely enjoy Sunset Plaza Drive, a recently rediscovered and newly released musical gem. Recommended.

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