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Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Billy Liar - The Ghosts of Punk Rock

It's been a while since Billy Liar released any studio material, but after just one listen of 'The Ghosts of Punk Rock' it's very easy to forgive him.
With one leap forward he has went from being a very good acoustic punk troubadour to a level that leaves that behind and sees him settling shoulder to shoulder with some of the people that he would consider to be his influences.
For instance I love the the lyrical approach of TV Smith and would consider him a poet who effectively puts his prose to music, and this is exactly what we have here to.
Not a facsimile of what is already out there, but instead a real poet who has the ability to express himself in a wonderfully heartfelt and entertaining way.
There's three in Scotland just now who are lyrically as strong and I wouldn't like to say that any one was better than the others.
With the likes of Roscoe Vacant and Cal Murray, Billy Liar is right up there forging ahead without any consideration of trying to fit in, but instead carving his own career path as he delivers a solid organic punch to the chest with his material.
Sometimes it's a jaundiced view paired with a call to arms, and then equally he can express something less tangible that gives the impression that he knows that like us all we are thrashing about looking for something.
There's a great deal of bare emotion on display and that's a good thing.
There's others trying to do this, but unless they are open to revealing something of themselves instead of shouting slogans it's an empty experience listening to them.
Of course in the shadow of Frank Turner it would be fair to say that there's been a proliferation of acoustic punks stepping up to ply their trade so why should anyone plump for this ep over all the rest?
There's actually a couple of answers to that.
One is that Billy has been doing this for a long time now and didn't spring forth from Turners wake and instead from a pot pouri of influences from the Clash to the Adverts.
The other is quite simply because he's better than Turner.
You wouldn't have to push me out of the way to grab one of Frank Turners CDs from the table if The Ghosts of Punk Rock was sitting there alongside it.
Okay that's a subjective view, but try and get a hold of this limited release and then come back and tell me I'm wrong.
Although I'm not.

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