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MP3 The Liabilities - ROCK: Punk

Rock & roll with a tinge of Punk.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Punk, ROCK: Rockabilly


When you were born in the Appalachian overcast of West Virginia,
transplanted to the heart of Georgia as a boy in a working man''s family, raised on the timeless 50''s tunes that jump started rock and roll and given a guitar as a young teen with rebel dreams, cutting your teeth playing rockabilly in a college town would only seem right. And while you make a few fans and learn your way around the barstools, a wrench gets thrown and knocks you into a couple of surf-savvy punk players. Next thing you know, you''ve traded your blue collar for a spiked one and you are in a trio pining for the shadow of the Ramones. But dirt under the fingernails don''t disappear easy, and Aaron Irons had stories to tell. As a songwriter,
country often came to the surface. So he took a gig as a guitarist in an alt. country Macon, Ga. outfit called Hank Vegas and found himself opening for Billy Joe Shaver and the Drive-by Truckers.

Fellow Hank Vegas members, brothers Justin and Josh Smith, woke up on Saturday mornings to their music enthusiast father blasting Lynyrd Skynrd. With a jazz trumpeter grandfather and a dad who experienced some mild success as a California guitarist, playing an instrument was almost fated. Justin met Aaron when they were both working at a Milledgeville, GA pub. It soon became evident that Aaron, with his slick back widows'' peak and scuffed-toe talent, was a shoe-in for the spilt whiskey stage of Hank Vegas- who although green, had wound its way to college radio and created a buzz
in the live music scene. But ultimately Hank Vegas would return to its solo-act studio origin, leaving Aaron, Justin and Josh in search of new gig. For Aaron, it signaled the opportunity to assume frontman of his own act. For Justin and Josh, it was a chance to try something new. The brothers also knew of a guitar prodigy-of -sorts from their hometown, Brandon Fickler, who was looking for something to do outside his engineering career. It just so happened that the four of them were on the same style sheet - and with rockabilly, punk, country and Southern roots, they were ready to make their own honest rock and roll.

The Liabilities dug underground and surfaced with a gamut that transitions from barbed-wire country to pistol-whipped punk. Fired between it all are the butane-fueled riffs of rockabilly to psychedelia/surfer reverb and nostalgia of 60''s garage bands-gone-by. Gelling it all together is the band''s hard-thought, hard-fought lyrics for the everyman in us all. "Most rockabilly lyrics - although I love the music and listen to it everyday - are about as deep as a puddle," says Aaron. "On the other hand, a lot of punk songs - that are in the same vein as rockabilly music - are usually more simple and straightforward music, whereas their lyrics go a lot deeper.
And country, of course, is as elaborate as you want it to be and as simple as it needs to be. So, we''ve managed to take from all of that."

"It''s very blue-collar rock," adds Justin. "It''s nothing too fancy, but it''s not too simple it hurts."

They cut their first demo in Spring 2006 with engineer Drew LeClaire in Columbia, SC. "Great Big Highway" walks the line between well-oiled country and vintage garage rock and captures the story of a small town hopeful who finds himself working on the road he thought would take him to bigger things. "My Mechanic" is a pure country ballad with a heart-rending waltz through personal family pain. The song also showcases Brandon''s elaborate guitar work - something his bandmates say often takes center stage, leaving them and their audience in awe. "One Battle" is their anti-establishment fight-song, a straight-faced, rollicking punk rock anthem.
A full-length album is planned for fall 2006 in addition to future dates. And where you find The Liabilities, you are guaranteed to find honky-tonkers amongst head-bangers, punk kids among country folk, greasers amongst wranglers - and rock and roll for them all.

-Jessica Walden

Contact Info

Management and booking:
Adam Smith

File Data

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