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  THREE LIONS
'Three Lions'
(Frontiers Records)
Release Date: April 18th 2014


Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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three lions

Plenty of melody swirling in the air when you hit the 'play' button on this 13 track self-titled debut album. They're yet another three-piece showing off their abilities and rockin' to the max.

With a line-up consisting of Vinny Burns on guitars and keys, Greg Morgan gripping the drum-sticks firmly in both hands and Nigel Bailey handling bass and competently investing some soul in lead vocals; it's easy to see why this band and this debut should be taken seriously.

They glued their respective talents together after being introduced to each other during Firefest in October, 2012, and haven't looked back since. It isn't as soft or gentle as some Melodic Rock you can tune in to, but it's not going to rattle any cages with its ferocity either. It is inoffensive in stature with both ballads and rockers standing side by side completing what is an admirable debut album.

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First single 'Trouble In A Red Dress' opens the album and is fairly representative of what is to follow in regards to their rocking side. There are tasty hooks to catch the ear like the aforementioned single, 'Just A Man' and 'Holy Water' which all hit the spot nicely.

Taking a quick intake of ballad-like breath unveils such sweet sentiment as the subtle-as-a-sledgehammer 'Two Hearts Beat As One', the delicate and delightful 'Winter Sun' riding high on a melodic sensitivity and 'Don't Let Me Fall' which had me letting out an emotional gulp.

If the music business still made 7" singles or for that matter, any of the multiple formats that were once commonplace, then there are some examples on this album that would have made great bonus tracks and b-sides. Take the instrumental tucked on the end here called 'Sicilian Kiss'; it would have been an ideal candidate and would have proved appropriate for those who worshipped the band.

When identifying what customers want, surely there is a relevant marketplace for those who don't wish to buy merely one song or go to the other extreme and buy an entire album; the single presented various novel reasons to buy it. I digress though with my thoughts on 'product content' and so forth.

'Twisted Soul' and 'Kathmandu' both present more involved arrangements with the latter feeling grandiose in vibe and the former showing class in its delivery, building tension and texture simultaneously.

Whether you enjoy the softer side of the band when they perform something like 'Made For One Another' or the hook-laden Rocking side with 'Hold Me Down', you're going to appreciate that these three individuals bring a lot to the table. Their chemistry shines through which translates in to a cohesive collection of songs. Personally, I found it lacked any real imagination or one sensational track which might raise the overall occasion to another level.

If you can get by those moments which take you back to the 80s and those radio-friendly soft Rock moments that plague various compilations, this album really has plenty to offer.

For some, nostalgic overtures tend to be an instant turn-off, but if you enjoy hearing new arrangements which soak up the flavours of those bygone days where bands like Cutting Edge had a hit with '(I Just) Died In Your Arms', or It Bites walked away with a significant hit like 'Calling All The Heroes' and Journey, Survivor and Foreigner could hold the attention with their brands of Melodic Rock, then this is a fine and solid collection.

My only main issue is that it breaks no new ground and instead treads familiar ground.

Trouble In A Red Dress
Hold Me Down
Twisted Soul
Winter Sun
Just A Man
Holy Water
Two Hearts Beat As One
Kathmandu
Made For One Another
Magdalene
Don't Let Me Fall
Hellfire Highway
Sicilian Kiss


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10.4.14





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