INDEPENDENT ALBUM RELEASE: Ivan Beecroft, “Liars, Freaks, & Fools”

By Lee Anderson

“Liars, Freaks, & Fools” roars out of the gate with the song “Inequality:” “As I watch everything come falling down,” Beecroft sings. “Push my face into the ground. / I look for a place that I once knew…”

He sings over a slow rock riff with thundering drums and punk-break bass. It’s a style that frames the entire album, making it at home in any late 90’s/early 00’s playlist. Beecroft might be from Australia, but his music is from the East Village. The songs are guitar-heavy with melodic choruses. The lyrics are emotive but with balls. It’s of the genre of rock music which followed grunge, songs about the loss of individual identity being replaced by songs about the loss of cultural identity. Everything is lost and everyone’s outraged. (If they only knew what rock is now…)

Beecroft has even confessed to wanting to bring back the grunge since it does seem to be where rock has plateau-ed. "The music I am currently creating,” Beecroft says, “is...going back to my roots in rock and blues, which is why I initially started playing in bands as I was interested in guitar rock from the 80's and 90's. It's a very important transition from my earlier releases as it shows a more pub rock style that was typically around in Australia in the 80's as I really want to turn people back onto this type of music."

Judging from his promo stills, Ivan Beecroft is the personification of stubborn male confidence, yet not afraid to peacock. He looks very rock and roll, head-to-toe. 

“Deranged,” the album’s second track, sounds like Bowie if he wrote for Type-O Negative. It seems to have the same E-chord and D-chord combo of “Rebel Rebel,” but in a rich, baritone-bass voice.

“Life Goes On” and “A4” are softer grind. “Something is wrong and you can’t go on this way./ Who can we blame when it’s all just the same as before? / Just can’t take anymore…”

What Beecroft might lack somewhat in vocal range, he makes up for in musical range. While the songs are of the same genre, they manage to stand out significantly from one another, like stories.

“Shame on You” rides a catchy, angry bass surrounded by crashing cymbals. “Shattered Dreams” is Nirvana if they’d been fronted by Les Claypool. “Rock This Night Away” is Kiss if it were just Paul Stanley in charge. “If there’s one thing that we can do, it’s play this music loud!”

“Bad Company” is a cowbell-lover’s dream, which actually highlights the more social conscious side of Beecroft. Working as a steel worker once, he was continuously astonished by his company’s yawning lack of concern for their workers’ safety. Haunted by the memory of a colleague’s screams as his hand became caught in a faulty machine, Beecroft’s songwriting became more political. His entire life did.

The album closes out with “Let It Go,” a fast-paced, hard-driving song about taking a deep breath. Don’t let things get to you and kill someone. (It’s not easy though.)  

Overall, I greatly recommend this album if, like me, you still love Pearl Jam. The call for social justice over jovially crunching guitars. 

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Excellent Music Video for Ivan Beecroft's song, "Shattered Dreams":

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