Album review: LIAR – Sunset Plaza Drive

LIAR - Sunset Plaza Drive

Escape Music [Release date 20.03.20]

Liar originally formed in 1975 and recorded two albums prior to this one, with extensive UK and European tours. Now after 42 years, the long-lost Liar album from 1978 finally gets its debut appearance on Escape Music. The album was originally recorded in Stevie Wonder’s Crystal Sound Studios in L.A. Original members guitarist/keys player Steve Mann (Michael Schenker Fest, Lionheart), Paul Travis (guitars, vocals), Dave Taylor (bass) and Dave Burton (vocals, guitars) also reunited late last year to record the track ‘Woman’, which appears as a bonus track on here.

There are many ‘lost classic’ albums around and I guess that tag depends on how much you liked the band originally. Plus there are a fair few albums held up by various legal reasons which many fans would love to see released.

This is my first time listening to Liar and they certainly nailed that 70s rock sound beloved of UFO on songs like ‘Do You Ever’. Opener ‘Judy Teens’ builds nicely, reminiscent of Triumph in places. ‘Blame It On The Kids’ features a lovely pulsing bass line, whilst drummer Clive Brooks (who sadly passed away in 2017) lays down a rolling beat. One of the album’s stand outs.

The newly recorded ‘Woman’ packs more punch due to the modern recording and a chunkier guitar sound. The song was written not long after the band split-up so it maintains that 70s feel and doesn’t sound out of place on here.

What would have happened to the band if they had stayed together and released this album will never be known, however we do finally get a chance to hear their final recorded work. A blast from the past and one for lovers of classic 70s rock from the likes of UFO, Triumph and Styx. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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