LIQUOR STORE: In the Garden: LP

Jun 13, 2014

I thought Liquor Store’s debut LP Yeah Buddy was an exercise in hubris, but then I got this! In the Gardenisn’t a gatefold double LP like its predecessor, and only has eight tunes, but the sheer balls and triple-guitar bravado more than makes up for it. These are compliments, people. As my friend Jumpkick might say, this shit is “pow’ful.” Guitarist/vocalist Sarim Al-Rawi’s voice has changed from the snot-caked, bleating blurt of early Liquor Store tunes to a Handsome Dick Manitoba-like bark. The guitars (again, three of ‘em!) are huge, the solos are monstrous. These dudes can hang with Dictators axe-men Top Ten and Ross The Boss, as well as give the Nuge (“Pile of Dirt”) or Slash (check the epic “Midnight Walker”) a run for their respective money. It’s only in recent years that I’ve come to terms with strong musicians flexing their muscles while playing the punk rock. I don’t know why I couldn’t accept it for so long. Probably because so many technically proficient musicians don’t know when a song doesn’t need them to jack off all over it. Liquor Store is a band that can triple-guit a song and you can still feel the actual song. On a different tack, Liquor Store also scares me, more than a little bit. Listen to a tune like “Keys to the Face” and tell me you would even think about crossing these guys. Or maybe they’re sweethearts and they just unfortunately witnessed some dude punch another dude with his keys. In the face. Then I look at a picture of Sarim, and his eyes tell me that he’s seen something I shouldn’t. 

 –Sal Lucci (Almost Ready)