Brand new Brighton band Amongst Liars have mastered that special art of blockbusting riffs, powerful vocals and engaging, melodic choruses that have you instantly hooked. Add to that tackling current issues such as the seemingly never-ending pandemic, ongoing political ineptitude, and fake news and we’re very much onto a winner.
The quartet of Ian George (vocals and guitar), Leo Burdett (guitar and backing vocals), Ross Towner (bass and backing vocals) and Adam Oarton (drums) was born from the ashes of two south coast bands, Saint Apache and Katalina Kicks. Both had plenty of success in their own rights but their former members have joined forces to create something really exciting.
As frontman Ian George tells us: “Saint Apache were making a great name for themselves, playing the Isle of Wight Festival and supporting Pitchshifter amongst other up and coming acts. They had just released an EP in February 2019, when their singer left. The band continued writing new songs as a three piece, searching for the right person to join them.
“I was the last man standing from Katalina Kicks, a London/Brighton based band that had released three albums and toured extensively, supporting bands such as Franz Ferdinand, The Quireboys and the late Bernie Torme and was similarly looking for a new project after the band’s untimely demise in July 2019, which was the mother of all break ups. We were about to release a new single and EP and were supposed to be touring in the autumn with The Quireboys again when my other longstanding band member suddenly left the UK. I was totally destroyed, but determined to carry on – I just didn’t know how.
“I tried to revive the band, but had just lost the energy to carry it on by myself. I had previously met the Saint Apache guys after playing a show with them in Manchester back in 2018 and loved their sound, so stayed in touch, especially with them being local to me. I was gutted to hear that they had broken up a while back, but a light bulb suddenly went off and I messaged them. Leo got back straight away. We met up and had a long chat about music and life and decided to jam over some KK and SA tracks to see how things went.”
Needless to say, things went really well and Amongst Liars was formed in late September 2019, borrowing elements of the sound and songs of both previous bands. They’ve released three singles, all of which offer plenty to get excited about.
As Ian adds: “To be honest last year was a real blessing in disguise, as we are all on the same page and loving what we are doing. So maybe things really do happen for a reason!”
The latest song from Amongst Liars is Burn The Vision, which was released at the end of last month. It opens up with a delicious little stabbing guitar riff that drops into high-pitched vocals and another stabbing riff. Catchy vocals take over in the opening verse “You wrote the resignation, You faked the resume, You had no reservation, But that’s enough for me, We call to the land of the militant, We serve to the will of the free, Bow down to the cross of a million now, That’s not so plain to see.”
That feeds into the pre-chorus vocals that feed into a big catchy chorus “Burn the Vision, don’t turn, Burn the Vision, don’t turn, Let us decide, all for the right, stop all the lies, not for the memory, Burn the Vision, don’t turn.”
Another verse of almost spoken vocals takes over, ending on the lyrics “We bow to the lies of a president, We fall to the word of the free, All down to the voice of a millionaire, That’s not so clear to see.” And another pre-chorus feeds into another catchy chorus.
This time the pace drops right down, the opening high-pitched vocals return, then echoey spoken vocals build up to a final chorus. Before it ends on the high-pitched vocals and cries of “Burn” over big guitars to bring the track to a close.
On the track, Ian said: “Musically this song took ages to write – probably about four months all in all as we could never get it quite how we wanted. The riffs were so strong, the whole song needed to reflect that. But we got there in the end!
“Lyrically, it’s about the shameful use of fake news and distorted media which we feel is so rife in this day and age. We wanted to reflect that in the video too, so did a very tongue in cheek video of someone stuffing themselves with junk food, watching junk and fake TV.”
That follows feisty second single Wolf Machine, which opens up with high-pitched guitars answered by big guitar chords. Delicious lively vocals take over then a cry of “Just you try and stop us, Time to lock and load, Now we’re letting go” feeds into the chorus “Don’t get me wrong, I never needed you Chase your shadow, They bleed and die for you” over the big guitars.
A second chorus gives way to a fun smash of the opening lively guitars and a cry of “yeah” brings in these awesome flurries of high-pitched guitars over cries of “Bring it down.” You think it’s over but sudden cries of “Bring down the wolf machine” reinvigorate another flurry of awesome guitars that give way to a final smash of the chorus and more cries of “Bring down the wolf machine.” Give this huge a track a listen here:
And those two tracks follow on from their superb debut single Over and Over, which opens up with a low pitched repeating note under Ian’s engaging vocals. Little twists of guitar creep in as the vocals continue and end on a cry of “Make time for this” gives way to repeats of “Yeah” and “Over and over we run” over funky little guitar riffs.
A second chorus gives way to big smashes of drums, then a quick guitar flurry and repeating chords feed into a final chorus. Check it out in the video here:
The band have been heavily inspired by rock, grung and punk influences such as Nirvana, Chris Cornell, Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, QOTSA, Led Zeppelin and David Bowie.
And describing the Amongst Liars sound, Ian says: “For me it’s hard hitting groove based melodic rock – think RATM in a blender with Audioslave, Shinedown and Led Zeppelin.
“We write about things going on in the world around us and experiences that ‘move’ and impact us and our lives. Our first single Over and Over was about being on a treadmill of life and symbolic for the last year with our previous bands folding and us reinventing ourselves as Amongst Liars. Second single Wolf Machine was quite political and targeted our inept government and the brand new song Burn the Vision is about fake news and dealing with all the collusion and lies people have in modern life. We have another single that comes out in November that channels mental health issues too.”
Of course, the band’s launch has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic, but have put the extra time to use by focusing on writing new music – to the extent that they have a new album ready to drop in November! But there’s more to Amongst Liars than simply the music.
As Ian explains: “We like to really have a ‘user experience’ and mix strong visuals into our music too. So we have an amazing artist called Pierre Englebrecht who totally gets what we write about and puts it into an art form for the single cover. Kind of in a Pink Floyd surrealist form. And we like to be really creative with our videos too – as again music is so visual to us.”
We’re really excited about what we’ve heard from Amongst Liars so far and they’re yet another band to add to the list of great new British rock bands. And, there’s plenty more to come from them very soon!