The Lying Game

From the ashes of The Generiks comes the Liar's Club

"After going on tour and shit," he adds, "we couldn't keep jobs, so I started my own thing. I just started my own thing and now it's taking off."

Cean works as a doorman and attends school, and like many punk rockers with intellect as big as their creepers, he designs Web sites. He explains that Liar's Club plans don't exclude a Generiks regrouping, that the latter band isn't officially broken up and is a very much an ongoing entity via its Web site.

"The Generiks might reform by the end of the year -- who knows? We're [the Liar's Club] gonna write like another 10 songs together. Maybe try and record something. Then record an album by the end of the year and put it out ourselves."

Liar's Club is (from left) Tim Sorensen, Chris Berry, Eric Dahl and Cean.
Paolo Vescia
Liar's Club is (from left) Tim Sorensen, Chris Berry, Eric Dahl and Cean.

Sorensen chimes in with a crusty Generiks road story: "We used to have this contest but we never consummated it. It was like that old newscast thing where they'd have a special kid that was deprived in some way, or had a terrible life, called Wednesday's Child. And when we went on the road once, we had this thing called Wednesday's Child. It was basically to see who could hook up with the most gag nasty, terrible like troll girl. But we just couldn't bring ourselves to it. It sounded fun and we could put a pool on it [money], but it never materialized."

Neil Young's "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)" blares from the jukebox. The line about Johnny Rotten, and the song's predilection with the seemingly infinite relevance of rock 'n' roll, gives the beery moment a certain bittersweet twinge. The endurance of rock 'n' roll as the perfect juxtaposition to a Phoenix old-man bar and penis talk involving Jennie Garth.

"Hey hey, my my, rock and roll will never die," sings Young.

Scrubbed women with the appearance of days spent on massage tables talking about overseas art auctions trot past. They wear pricey warm-up suits and $200 running shoes. Glistening gray Italian and German cars are parked in driveways. Yards are kept up by teams of brown-skinned gardeners. This is Cean's neighborhood, where the Liar's Club rehearses its punk rock.

Cean's pad is an unlikely setup for a dude who spent years touring, writing and recording with riff hooligans like The Generiks. His is a lovely A-frame guest house on lush grounds with stone path walkways. There's a swimming pool off to the side. The neighborhood is sandwiched between the Willo and Encanto districts near downtown.

The band rehearses in the lower room of Cean's guest house. The neighbors don't ever complain.


Judging from a rehearsal listen, the band's song cache is, of course, much like The Generiks, only slower. The tempos are closer to Rocket to Russia-era Ramones, unlike The Generiks' songs, which were fast enough to make Dickies songs seem like the slow boat to China.

But like The Generiks, Liar's Club choruses loom big and large, support sing-alongs in a bouncy, Ping-Pongy context, coming and going in terse refrains. The songs are a clunky haphazard of hooks with a kind of nursery-rhyme thing going on, a hooky chaos of NOFX and Buzzcocks.

Liar's Club has been together for only two months. That's impressive in relation to its sound. Cean has only been singing lead vocals for four or five months. In The Generiks he played bass, and Sorensen played guitar. For this they switched things around. It works. It gives the songs a kind of anxiety.

"Sorry we do boring interviews, man," says Dahl during a break. His point is rather redundant. "We suck at doing interviews."

Go see the Liar's Club debut show at Hollywood Alley. They give life to songs in a way you'd never guess by talking to them.

Liar's Club is scheduled to perform on Thursday, July 6, at Hollywood Alley in Mesa. Showtime is 9 p.m.

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