Liquor Giants

Liquor Giants

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Anyone who had any notion that the Liquor Giants were a band in the traditional democratic sense pretty much lost their illusions with the release of the "group"'s third album (simply called Liquor Giants), which featured Ward Dotson on lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass, lead vocals, backing vocals, occasional keyboards, and pretty much everything else except for the drums (played by one-time Pontiac Brothers howler Matt Simon), organ on two cuts, and a dollop of female backing harmonies. However, Mr. Dotson's adventures in multi-tracking also made it clear he didn't need a lot of help to make a great record; quite simply, Liquor Giants was the best record he'd played on since Fiesta en la Biblioteca in 1986. The songs find Dotson at the top of his game, writing pop tunes that have heart, soul, and plenty of backbone (the last a rare commodity in such things); "Chocolate Clown" melds goofy lyrics with a melody that'll stick in your head and grab your heart, "Bastanchury Park" sounds like some lost British Invasion classic, "$100 Car" and "Jerked Around" show Dotson can still write a first-class rocker when he's of a mind, "Fake Love" and "Hey You" offer further perspectives on that most classic of pop song subjects, love gone wrong, and "Here" finds him making with the twangy stuff and doing quite well with it. High on great music and low on pretense, Liquor Giants is the Ward Dotson esthetic defined, and while he's always known how to make the most of a great band, it seems he can also get along just fine without one. It's enough to make a guy believe in overdubbing again.

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