Local Wire

Liam's Problem: Liam's Problem EP

Artist: Liam's Problem

Title: Liam's Problem EP

Basics: Liam's Problem describes themselves as a "musical journey through rock, soul, funk and blues" and "as likely to be influenced by The Allman Brothers or Parliament Funkadelic as they are Led Zeppelin or Pear Jam."

There is definitely a Pearl Jam/Soundgarden influence mixed with some a little Led Zeppelin/Allman Brothers showmanship. Funkadelic? Not so much, but what you do find on this EP is some pretty intriguing stuff. 

Best Song: Opener "Screaming At The Top" is a brilliant introduction to what exactly Liam's Problem does best. The vocals are at their best here with lead singer Mike Locher (thanks, fans!) demonstrating his whisky-drenched Southern chops. I'll tell you what, YAFI bands -- your band can be the absolute worst musicians on the face of the earth, but if your lead singer can hold it down, I could care less. A charismatic, talented lead singer goes a long, long way in this world, and Liam's Problem has their bona fide leader in Locher. It's easy to hear the Led Zeppelin influence in his voice, but I tend to hear more Soundgarden era Chris Cornell -- not Audioslave. This, my friends, is plenty a good thing.

Song That Could Use More Work: "Downhearted Shame" has the unfortunate placement of being the first song to slow things down a bit. It is not the most downtempo -- that goes to "Feels Like Home," but that track is the slowest, most mellow on the album. "Downhearted Shame" struggles between being a slower, more mellow offering and being right there with the first three tracks of the EP -- all uptempo in their own right. It also doesn't help that "Downhearted Shame" bites its sound from Alannah Myles' 1989 hit "Black Velvet." Seriously -- I heard that right from the opening, bluesy guitar riff and could not get it from my mind.

Suggestions: Liam's Problem's stated work ethic: "Play anywhere and play there again." I could not have said it better myself. The guys in the band all have Midwestern roots, like seemingly 85% of Arizona, and this is apparently where they draw this relentless work ethic from. Now, I don't know where exactly the name Liam's Problem came from, but the punctuation in their name can be a bit tricky. Not everyone in America is, let's say, the strongest with grammar these days. Liam's Problem has a functioning Myspace page, a great Facebook page and even a Twitter page. These guys definitely know what they're doing.

Grade: B-

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:

Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85034

Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Lopez