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BillyBio – Leaders and Liars

Leaders and Liars
by Huw Eggington at 16 March 2022, 4:29 AM

BIOHAZARD front man Billy “Biohazard” Graziadei returns with the sophomore effort for his solo project BILLYBIO, channeling the feel and sound of CBGBs in the 80s and 90's. Billy Graziadei clearly just lives for this, rarely do you get a chance to hear someone just enjoying the songs they are creating so much, because it’s not their main project. In reality this is not much different to BIHOZARD’s previous work the same mid paced, bruising hardcore crunch is as prevalent on this as any of the legendary front man’s other albums. Originality and innovation is not the name of the game here, when you worship the sounds of CRO MAGS, INTEGRITY and even your own other band so strongly there can be little room for manoeuvring through more creative sounds, but then again does it really need it when it sounds this good?

But that’s enough of what this album isn’t, what this album is, is a very good representation of the old in the new in modern hardcore. Songs like the title track, where the pace is noticeably increased pummeling listeners with bouncy riffs and rhythms perfect for letting loose in the pit. Songs like this also show a keen ear for melody, hitting the senses to evoke great feelings of youthful abandon mixed with fire and furry, like the best most dangerous party around.

Tempos are mixed up again in songs like Turn The Wounds where the classic NYHC crushing plodding riffs reign supreme, defy any listener not to bob their heads along in time. The album is split apart with some interlude soundscapes that whilst definitely adding to the atmospherics of the record, could also probably be done away with and not suffer for it. They are not bad by any means and they provide some interesting passages and respite from an album with an overall very aggressive feel, but they could be utilised to serve the following more developed songs, and be used as a launchpad for their aural assault, see Sheepdog into Deception for evidence of this, there’s just a slight disjointed feeling between the two that could be more fully realised.

Overall this is a thoroughly enjoyable album for any fans of classic and modern hardcore alike and serves as a really good bridge between the two. Splicing elements of the fast paced punk petulance with the more precise fury of more metallic sounding bands. A real highlight of this record is Billy’s vocals, sounding as large and commanding as ever, you know he means every syllable of every word sang, in the live setting, much like with BIOHAZARD themselves, he would have the entire crown eating out of the palm of his hand.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Black Out
2. Fallen Empires
3. Leaders & Liars
4. Lost Horizon
5. Turn The Wounds
6. Sheepdog
7. Deception
8. Generation Kill
9. Looking Up
10. One Life To Live
11. Our Scene
12. Just In The Sun
13. Enough
14. Remission
15. Cyanide
Billy Graziadei: Vocals, Guitars
Fred Aching Rios: Drums
Ra Diaz, Dan Manca: Bass
Dan Palmer, Robbie Davidson: Drums
Record Label: AFM Records


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