Liquor Store - Photo by Keith Marlowe

Liquor Store – Photo by Keith Marlowe

This past Friday at Death By Audio, one of the tri-state area’s finest rock units celebrated the release of their excellent sophomore effort In The Garden, on Almost Ready Records. The last five years have seen New Jersey’s Liquor Store evolve from greasy teenage garage-punks into grown men effortlessly recalling classic ‘70s rock like The Dictators, Blue Oyster Cult and Thin Lizzy. Their new LP impresses with full-spectrum production, but live is where the seasoned band shows its true power. Call it Grand Punk Railroad.
Two-fisted rockers Keys To The Face and Pile of Dirt showcase the tough and deceptively intricate guitar interplay between leader Sarim al-Rawi and Steve “Bones” Dessimone; while wind-in-the-hair chooglers Titty Was Loc’d and Big Wheels reveal the laidback, spark-one-up side of these good ol’ boys. While going apeshit to old favorites Commando and Showdown at Wookie Lake, the crowd greedily ate up the new stuff too, both literally and figuratively. Al-Rawi figured a new album wasn’t enough, so he also brought along a six-foot sub sandwich for anyone who was hungry. Liquor Store offers nourishment of all sorts.
Earlier in the evening, the up-and-coming Hector’s Pets kicked things off with their good-time garage numbers, followed by Call of the Wild’s always-potent mix of vintage hard rock, punk and metal. Anyone worried about the state of NYC rock ‘n’ roll obviously didn’t attend this show. Keep that in mind next time someone brings up “the problem with Brooklyn.”
Words by Erick Hughes.
Photos by Keith Marlowe.
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