If anyone deserved a break due to their hard work, high standards, and passion it was or should I say is Billy Liar. Signing to Pirates Press is proof that hard work can and will pay off – with a determination and unwavering belief in what he does is his just deserts. Billy has been gaining well-deserved praise from high places such as Tim Armstrong and we’ve always seen the talent and great songs he’s written and on ‘Crisis Actor’ he’s indeed taken it to the next level from the tub-thumping chest beating opener ‘Oblivion’ through the organ swirling rampant beast that is ‘Baltimore’ Billy has the sound that can and should break through big time Stateside. Its no accident Pirates Press recognised that talent and have released this new record.
Billy’s songs detail some outstanding storytelling, where every lyric has you hanging on his every breath its like turning the pages of a great book you simply can’t put down and you’re wondering where it’s heading next. The energy of ‘Negroni’ is superb (With added Frank Turner). The sound is arena-filling and also a breath of fresh air if you were in say the Black Heart in Camden watching him rip through these songs on his acoustic guitar it would still sound huge.
‘Phantom Limb’ is thunderous but then again the energy bursting through the speakers from the likes of ‘Osterich’ it’s no surprise to hear mr Frank Turner join Billy on this LP because I’m sure Turner will be looking over his shoulder at Liar as he steams up on the inside track. ‘Starlight On Main’ is more of the same but the highlight is ‘Cheyne Stoking’ with its chest-beating brilliance with a broken-hearted melody sung with vim and vigor Billy is stepping up here.
But hold on its not all thunder and attack there are also softer songs for tough guys like the jarring ‘Don’t Trust Anyone’ that wakes from its harsh abrasive into into a heaving monster. This is one of the finest half hours I’ve heard all year and the hoe down that is ‘Hogmanay’ if The Pogues had written never mind the bollocks and turned up the guitars instead of whistles. Simply a stunning record and one that should propel Billy Liar to being a household name in punk rock circles. Be it leading a raucous band or standing in the spotlight with just his acoustic guitar Billy Liar has hit paydirt with ‘Crisis Actor’ Man I thought ‘Some Legacy’ was good but this is on another level. Buy It!
Author: Dom Daley