Nic Armstrong & The Thieves

The Greatest White Liar (New West)

SXSW Records

Nic Armstrong & The Thieves

The Greatest White Liar (New West)

From the first notes of The Greatest White Liar, there's no doubt Nic Armstrong & the Thieves are British. Replete with UK Sixties rock and pop influence, it's Liar's irrepressible Merseybeat coating everything. Armstrong even sounds like John Lennon occasionally. Despite the retro feel of this debut, it succeeds because of Armstrong's spirited melodies, his ragged but right band, and the ripe affection they possess for their musical precursors. Producer Liam Watson (White Stripes, the Zutons, the Kills) gives 25-year-young Armstrong and his originals just the right amount of air or fuzzy ambience to really shine. Stomping opener "I Can't Stand It," shimmy shake of "On a Promise," and bouncy twang of "The Finishing Touch" are all straight out of the garage, the entire album glimmering with youthful zest that's undeniable. Armstrong lets his roots show with covers of Lieber and Butler's "Down Home Girl," done with a hearty helping of greasy funk, and gets his soul shake on Chuck Berry's "I Want to be Your Driver." The Greatest White Liar is nothing fancy, but even at this late date, it furthers the notion that the Sixties will never die. (Saturday, March 19, 9pm @ Eternal)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Nic Armstrong, IV Thieves

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