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REVIEW - Liar Thief Bandit - 'Deadlights' - (Album - The Sign Records)

Continuing Sweden's The Sign Records 'hot streak' of releases in the last six weeks or so (Grande Royale's 'Carry On', Hot Breath's 'Rubbery Lips', Heavy Feather's 'Mountain Of Sugar') Malmo's Liar Thief Bandit comes roaring around the corner with their third studio album 'Deadlights'. Following on from 2016's 'Gun Shovel Alibi' and 2018's 'Straight Ahead' and recorded at Malmo's Tambourine Studios, scene of a number of The Cardigans studio recordings, 'Deadlights' is another high energy, driving release with twelve tracks that hardly pauses for breath and satisfies that hard rock itch we all get from time to time.

The band's mix of Hellacopters style garage rock, 70s classic hard rock and punky attitude are present and correct in all twelve tracks, yet this is far from a one-dimensional record. There's a stoner rock / QOTSA vibe to 'Limitations', the opener and title track 'Deadlights' finds time for a mid-song breakdown and some mellifluous guitar playing from Mike Jacobson, and 'Catch & Release' is a tremendously commercial track with AC/DC style riffing and a belter of a chorus. In fact, fantastic choruses abound throughout the record especially on the full-pelt 'boogiefied' rocker 'Good Enough', single 'Feather' and a fantastic soaring chorus on the 'riff-tastic' 'I've Got A Lot Of Money Comin' In' (which also boasts a great wah-wah guitar solo). Propulsive tune 'Brand New Day' contrasts with the more reflective 'Forever The Optimist' (although it's still a pretty pacy tune); in fact the most 'garage-rock' tune 'Cept The Truth' with its punky vibe all done and dusted in two minutes is perhaps the least distinctive track on the album.

'Right From Wrong' with its staccato riff, and powerful album closer 'Hindsight' finish the record in fine style and shows off Niklas Dahre's solid, superbly timely bass playing and William Grube's precision drum work (with fine cymbal and hi-hat playing to the fore) and more concise, fiery riffing and soloing from Mike Jacobson - all attributes from the trio that are present throughout the album.

If you're a regular reader, you've probably realised by now that I'm a big fan of a lot of bands on The Sign Records roster, and with releases like this it's no surprise. 'Deadlights' is a fabulous record, excellently produced (by Erik Sunding), superbly played and written by the Liar Thief Bandit guys, and with lyrics that are by turns optimistic and defiant (something we could all do with at the moment) and music that rocks like nobody's business over its 41 minutes, it is another superb album of Swedish garage rock / hard rock that we've become accustomed to over the years - do yourself a favour and add this to your collection.

'Deadlights' is out now on The Sign Records and is available on all the major digital sites and as a CD or limited edition coloured vinyl (blue or transparent red) from Liar Thief Bandit's Bandcamp page -

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