From the south west of England, rather than the deep south of the U.S.A, Sons of Liberty started out as a southern rock tribute band after forming a bond over their mutual love of American southern rock, a fading genre which is becoming cool once again. Three years later and the band have recently released their debut EP, '...Shinola' - which they describe as "100% home grown and 100% Southern!" The band are inspired by Lynard Skynard, The Allman Brothers and Black Stone Cherry, and have tried to deliver original tracks which remain true to the roots of the genus.
The EP has a range of authentic-sounding tracks, from the all-out southern rock party of 'Brotherhood' to the mellower 'Looking For A Good Time', and the anthemic 'Fools Gold'. Throughout all the tracks is a gruff and fierce vocal, a heavy rhythm section, awesome riffs and some top notch guitar solos.
'Brotherhood' has a rockin southern rock intro, and is in the true dirty whiskey-soaked southern classic style; big, gritty and soulful. The guitars are lush, like deliciously sweet and acidic apple pie smothered in custard. 'Fools Gold' - in my opinion the best on the EP - is a bangin track with simple catchy vocals blending beautifully with chugging riffs and another outstanding guitar solo; outlaw country rock which sounds like it came straight from the bible belt. 'Free Man' wears on you with each play but doesn’t break new ground for me. It's a staple southern romp, gravelly vocals with a touch of blues and country and fast guitars, but it doesn't really excite me as much as other tracks on the EP.
'Looking For A Good Time' is a feel-good track doused with moonshine and really gets you moving those hips. The bluesy foundation keeps the sound soulful and there is more sterling guitar work which propels the song forwards and upwards. Although Sons of Liberty wear their influences on their denim-clad sleeves, they don't replicate, or even stay rooted in one sound, they show a diversity.
The final, 7-minute long track, 'The Brave', has a native American feel, which I love, and develops into a warm narrative in a song about real people and real lives. Cooksley's dusty vocals are powerful and heartfelt in this more complex track, and the song is again transformed by some authoritative guitars which scream the deep south and raise the hairs on your arms. This song epitomises the whole of the EP in that it doesn't shout out "listen to me" but instead asks you to just kick back and lose yourself in some pure and satisfying southern rock n roll. A solid debut of original material, and one which means you want to hear what the band bring next.
Rob Cooksley (vocals)
Fred Hale (guitars)
Andy Muse (guitars)
Mark Thomas (bass)
Steve Byrne (drums)