Review: Sons Of Liberty – ‘The Detail Is In The Devil’

‘The Detail Is In The Devil’, album number three from Bristolians Sons Of Liberty, sees the band dialing back some of the more Southern rock aspects of previous albums ‘Animism’ (2020) and ‘Aces & Eights’ (2021) in favour of more of a traditional hard rock feel. It could be organic, or perhaps it’s what new vocalist Russ Grimmett brings to the party, but with ‘The Detail Is In The Devil’ there is a definite lean towards a ballsy hard rock album.

With two accomplished guitarists in the ranks, Fred Hale and Andy Muse, Sons Of Liberty are still very much a guitar-driven band, and ‘The Detail Is In The Devil’ is a guitar-heavy album. Whether or not it’s the razor-sharp riffs – or the wah-wah infused solo – on opener ‘Time To Fly’ (which along with a lot of the album, packs a bit of a NWOBHM punch rather than NWOCR) or the full-tilt boogie of ‘Light The Fuse’ – the stylish and varied guitar work from Hale and Muse is front and centre.

With the backbone of the band – the always-reliable Steve Byrne on drums, and rock-solid bassist Mark Thomas – pushing them forward, both guitarists can afford to be flash because they know that their backs are covered. ‘Light The Fuse’, in particular, is a great example of this. Ramp the track up 1000% and it’s easy to imagine Joel O’Keeffe and Airbourne cracking skulls on this one, instead, Sons play it with a slower groove with Byrne and Thomas controlling the tempo and the result is one of the highlights on the album.

The lovely rolling guitar tones on ‘Turn This Tide’ are another highlight, fantastic feel throughout with a strong vocal performance from Grimmett. Changing it up again, the Sons go with more of a commercial feel on the infectious ‘Tertulia Time’ mixed with a classic Southern rock guitar break mid-song. The overall vibe is one of the mid-90s when acts like Little Angels, Thunder, and Gun were never that far away from mainstream radio airplay (ditto ‘Libertine’). Grimmett’s vocals take on more of a snarl in the early stages of ‘What’s A Man Supposed To Do’, a track that forms a strong one-two with the slow-burning ‘Hawk Men Come’. The latter should already have its mid-set place staked out. Perfect for that calm after the opening storm.

‘I’ve Got The Sky’ is an interesting one. After the opening few minutes where you could be forgiven for thinking that you have the entire song mapped out, it doesn’t speed up where you expect it to, in other words, it’s not stereotypical. Instead, it sticks at a slow tempo until 3 minutes in that is when Steve Byrne brings the band in with some military-style snare drum that leads into a semi-acoustic hoedown complete with an old-fashioned fade-out. Standout moment on the album? At the minute, yes, but that does change with each listen.

Quite a bold move to tinker with the sound that brought you an audience, but it paid off as ‘The Detail Is In The Devil’ is the sound of a band rejuvenated.

Available now, purchase information HERE

‘The Detail Is In The Devil’ album launch tour starts March 1st and runs through until March 23rd, more information HERE.

Review – Dave

Photo credit – Red Images Photography

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