The True Sounds Of Liberty (T.S.O.L.) are an American Hardcore Punk band who release this, their debut album, in 81 not long after releasing a self titled E.P. This record saw the bands shift their sound in a new direction, something they would continue to do as they progressed through their career, which is still going today despite disbanding and reforming in the 90s. A stranger at a Public Enemy show recommended this record to me seemingly at "random" and I doubt I would of found my way to it otherwise. Since then its been a short record that I turn to from time to time.
Aesthetically, T.S.O.L. have a fairly average Punk sound, unapologetic vocals, simplistic and overdriven chord led guitars, energetic drumming and a bass guitar thats bold presence and involvement in the music is refreshing and a rewarding part of their sound. Rough around the edges, the production is fairly impressive considering the times and value of an "underground" act. What makes T.S.O.L. stand out is their creative musicianship and theme. Through these 11 short songs the group keep a varied approach that gives each track its own identity and flexibility to be inventive and inspired creatively, again the bass guitar often being heavily involved in some of the more progressive and unexpected moments.
It wasn't until recently exploring Gothic Rock (Christan Death, The Cure, Fields Of Nephilim) that I thought of this record and realized its strong Gothic overtone. Although the lyrical content is more socially, emotionally aware, their is a definite tinge of Gothic culture in there, maybe most noticeable on "Silent Scream". It gave this record a unique theme and identity I noticeably enjoyed. This "review" wouldn't be complete without a mention of the track "Code Blue" a comical tongue in cheek number about necrophilia that is packaged with their most catchy and rockable instrumental, definitely one of the highlights of this short record, which at 25 minutes often leaves me a little disappointed with its length, however these songs are short, to the point and devoid of filler. A quality album with a fantastic vibe.
Favorite Songs: Code Blue, The Triangle, I'm Tired of Life, Love Story, Silent Scream, Funeral March, Dance With Me