Friday, November 6, 2009


Who is Liberty N Justice you ask? That’s a good question. I’ve been asking myself that same question for the last 1-2 years. I’ve heard the name tossed about the various Metal Forums but never came into possession of one of their releases, until now that is. Honestly this particular release is one of the best 80’s albums recorded in 2009! With a release date of January 10, 2010 this one is more than worth the wait.

From the opening note of ‘Light it Up’ to the closing chorus of ‘For Better or Worse’ LNJ have hit a homerun to these ears. Justin Murr is the brainchild behind LNJ and the group’s main songwriter. What he has offered here is an amazing collection of catchy hook laden whimsy that satisfies on all levels. Mature but fun sounding songs that'll have you thinking you're listening to XM Satellite Radio's Hair Nation channel. A genre that despite its lousy name has a heritage of fabulous melodic masterpieces.

The production is wonderful with a nice big sound that isn’t lost in a room of reverb.Rich production values with layers of sweetness. You woulda thought that you just popped the shrink wrap off a new Bon Jovi or Def Leppard or Firehouse or Vixen or Bulletboys disc. No members of Bon Jovi participated on this release, but members from the other mentioned acts did. Great tones abound from the drums to the bass to the guitars. The vocal sound is clean and powerful, with a strong natural aura to it. And the vocal melodies are as catchy as glue, if they don’t stick in your head you’re not listening.

It really is difficult to describe except to say that if you liked 80’s hard rock you’re gonna LOVE this CD. It's has the swagger and the attitude but not the excess. It’s not an “L.A.” sound even tho there are elements of it. It’s not the “GNR” sound with the bluesy emphasis even tho you’ll hear elements I suppose. There are influxes of the modern sound but again it’s not dominant. LNJ has taken all of these elements and put together a truly great package. In my head as I listen I can see the big hair swinging around with a huge stage set and lights, a million camera edits. Just like an MTV video on Headbangers Ball, yeah momma!

After reading the following list of participants you tell me if I’m off the mark! Phil Lewis(LA Guns), JK Northrup, Dale and Troy Thompson (Bride), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen), Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), CJ Snare & Bill Leverty (Firehouse), Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Vic Rivera (Crunch), Les Carlson (Bloodgood), Oz Fox (Stryper/Bloodgood), Sheldon Tarsha (Tarsha/Adler’s Appetite), Jeff Pilson (Dokken/Foreigner), Kelly Keeling (Baton Rouge/TSO), Kerri Kelli (Alice Cooper), Pete Loran & Steve Brown (Trixter), Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal (GN’R/Lita Ford), Chris Jericho (WWE Wrestler/Fozzy), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Harry Hess & Pete Lesperance (Harem Scarem), Marq Torien (BulletBoys), Chris Holmes (WASP), Robert Mason (Warrant/Lynch Mob), Jerry Dixon (Warrant), Shawn Pelata (Line of Fire), Stephen Chesney (Frontiers) also appearing are Eric Rango, Terry llous (XYZ), Chris Dickens (Mission of One), Marc Danzeisen (BulletBoys/Little Caesar), Doug Odell (Crunch/TNA) & John Pine…. Whew!! Typers cramp…… ouch!!

Holy Toldeo, with a line up like that WOW. Believe me when I say this isn’t your typical all star release where the hype takes you to the top and the release doesn’t cut it. Maybe the songs are lacking or the production is hack job. Or the entire project just feels CHEESY. That is not the case here at all. This is a top notch production from top to bottom and everywhere in between.

As I listened to this release I was reminded of the few albums by Mastedon with Dino and Jon Elefante. They brought in quite an array of vocalists to perform which added to the dynamic of the project. Lyrically it’s pretty hard not to hear the Christian influence/worldview yet I detect no clichés but heartfelt lyrics that any believer would be happy to hear.

Listening to this disc I’m transported back in time and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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