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Liberty 37

The Greatest Gift

(Beggars Banquet)

Liberty 37’s new album, The Greatest Gift is as uninteresting as it is inconsistent. You won’t find yourself singing any of these songs in the shower as the entire album is unmemorable. There are definitely riffs in some of the songs which sparked my interest. Unfortunately, my interest was rooted in noticing definite likenesses to pop-punk Green Day bass lines, Radioheadesque vocals, and at times, Helmet chugga-chugga guitar. And the lyrics…oh the lyrics…they are bad.


The twelfth track entitled “Seize the Day,” which is named badly enough as is, seems to be some sort of anthem evoking the divide between good and evil, between the lyricist, Ishmael Lewis and some other “opposite” person. Lewis proclaims, “Growing tired of the herd/Growing tired of all you do/Growing tired of our ways/Getting sick to death of you.” This little guy vs. the masses attitude is weak and cliched, as are most of the lyrics on the album. Perhaps humanity has come to this type of cliched anger, but I certainly hope not. The song is appropriately the last track on the album as by having listened to it in its entirety I have “gotten sick to death of it.” Although I don’t question the sincerity of the band trying to write honest lyrics or make emotional music, it’s just simply not done in an interesting manner.


Luckily for the members of Liberty 37, however, most of them have day jobs in their native Swansea, Wales. The vocalist Ishmael Lewis is a school teacher; the guitarist, Tim Batcup, runs and owns a bookshop; the bassist, Andrew Watkins, is a court clerk; and the drummer, Cliff Harris, is a professional drummer (the third drummer for Liberty 37).


There must be an audience for this band, though. They have had a video played on MTV UK and have done quite a bit of touring. I can’t foresee the band ever being more than an opening act, unless they came up with a more interesting and original sound other than crybaby rock with an edge.

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