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Australian native Ivan Beecroft harks back to the rock n’ roll that dominated his youth growing up in the ’80s and ’90s on Liars, Freaks & Fools . He isn’t shy about his influences either. There’s clear channelling of AC/DC, Nirvana and others on this record, but Beecroft is not a mere carbon copy of any of them.
Opening with the edgy, ‘Inequality’, the ’90s grunge/alternative influences burn bright in tandem with his crunchy, layered vocals. Beecroft’s vocal tone is spectacular, jut the right amount of grit without venturing into macho territory. Lyrically, it’s a hard-hitting, socially conscious number, laced with anger and condemnation. A minor complaint is the dragging outro, but it’s not enough of an issue to scupper the song.
‘Deranged’, strangely, carries Frank Zappa-style vocal tone – nasally and haughty. The bubblegum rock riff that carries it is a comfortable balance between AC/DC chug-rock and alt-rock melodic temperaments. In the chorus, Beecroft displays his love for shifting the tonal centre, which adds a slight psychedelic twist.
‘A4’ is reminiscent of punk’s early days in the ’70s DIY scene – raw, simplistic, but punchy and powerful. However, the song struggles to maintain a solid identity as things progress with clashing harmonies and guitar leads.
‘Rock This Night Away’ conjures a whole different side to ’70s rock. KISS and other glam bands come to mind, with its bluesy swagger and stadium sing-along chants. At times, the comparison is so strong you’d swear it was written by Paul Stanley himself. Addictive, unpretentious, and banging.
The album closes on a high note with ‘Let it Go’. High energy, pumping drums, and a cheerful riff set the stage for a radio-ready single. The rhythmic accents of the chords are straight out of AC/DC’s playbook and the words, although rife with cliché and simple rhymes, flow so naturally you can’t fault Beecroft.
Liars, Freaks, and Fools is simultaneously an impressive nod to the greats of rock and an individual statement from a talented songwriter. Ivan Beecroft isn’t breaking ground with his contributions, but it’s a riot to listen to all the same.