'Light It Up' is the latest long player from Liberty N' Justice - the melodic rockers with a message - who, with eight albums to their name and 19 years behind their belt, should be immensely proud of themselves as this record comes complete with a list of participants that reads like a who's who of the best CD collection ever (Mine). Rather than merely list a couple, I shall give a complete breakdown of each song and its players.
Opener and title track 'Light It Up' - featuring JK Northrup (King Kobra) and the vocals of Phil Lewis (LA Guns) - is a great opener and a grower of a track that seeps into your subconscious. 'The Other Thief' features Dale and Troy Thompson of Bride and sounds exactly like Bride, which isn't a bad thing at all! 'Blink' is next up and, with vocals from Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen) and guitar courtesy of Eddie Ojeda (Twisted Sister), is an AOR radio rock gem.
CJ Snare and Bill Leverty (Firehouse) add a sparkle of grandness to 'Do What You Believe' which is a ballad which asks the eternal question of life, to live the life you want and to listen to your heart. The man with a voice so velvety is up next, Ted Poley (Danger Danger, Bone Machine), along with his new guitar partner in crime Vic Rivera (Crunch), with 'Man Vs Mother Nature' - a mid paced rocker with a message of be kind to the environment and to each other. 'Treading On Serpents' features Les Carsen (Bloodgood) and Oz Fox (Stryper) and is reminiscent of Winger to these ears with its stop-start riff. 'Uncle Sam' is peppered up by Sheldon Tarsha (Adler's Appetite) and Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Foreigner & Steel Dragon) which takes me back to the Eighties with a healthy dose of Iron Maiden's 'Wasted Years' middle eight and Dokken.
Side Two would start with 'Every Reason To Believe' featuring Kelly Keeling (Baton Rogue) and riffs from guitar whore Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper, Big Bang Babies, Dad's Porno Mag, Pretty Boy Floyd, Warrant, Skid Row, LA Guns, Adler's Appetite etc.). This track is acoustic based and very reminiscent of Baton Rogue. 'Wrestling With God' is a song the awesomeness of which was never in question, given who is on the track - Pete Loran and Steve Brown of Trixter which, in the light of no new Trixter music since their reunion, is the next best thing and is AMAZING! Reason enough to buy this album on its own.
Chris Jericho (WWE, Fozzy) is the singer with the most to prove on here and teamed up with Phil Collen (Def Leppard) brings a bit of majesty to the proceedings. Harem Scarem team of Harry Hess and Pete Lesperance also bring with them a polished sound to 'Beautiful Decision'. UBER legend Chris Holmes (WASP) is partnered with Marq Torien (Bulletboys) on what could be their finest moment! The track in question is 'Drop Dead Gorgeous' and, as the title suggests, is short pure aural bliss. 'Greed' is also the first recorded output of Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Warrant) with his Warrant band mate Jerry Dixon, and manages to sound great. I cannot wait to hear more from the new Warrant line up. Last track and the only unknowns to me Shawn Pelata (Line of Fire) and Stephen Chesney (Frontiers) which serves to me as a possible teaser for their day jobs.
All in all a great album but, as with many long players like this (or guitarist's solo albums with different vocalists), suffers from not being consistent. That being said I still think that 10 brilliant songs out of 14 in this day and age is something to be proud of. This album will join the ranks of great records such as Trixter's 'Hear' and all of the previous Liberty N' Justice releases.