Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Steve Harris - British Lion (2012)

It seems like Iron Maidens 2012 is the year for side-projects. First of was the guitarist, Adrian Smith, who teamed up with ex. SikTh singer Mikee goodman and formed Primal Rock Rebellion, a project that was intresting and successful with their debut Awoken Broken. So now has the turn come to the leader and basist of Iron Maiden. Several years ago, Steve Harris met a young group called British Lion (hence the title of this album). The band asked Steve if he could produce their debut album, which he agreed on since he liked their music. Unfortunately, the band split up shortly after. Now, almost twenty years later, has Steve teamed up with two former British Lion members (Graham Leslie on guitar and Richard Taylor on vocals) and also David Hawkins and Simon Dawson to make Steves first ever solo album/side-project album or what ever you want to call it.

Now I am not sure what to call the music style the album is presenting. Classic rock? no... progresive rock? na... smooth sailing rock? Maybe... it is the closest I can come up with. It is pretty obvious that Steve is trying to hold of from the typical Maiden sound as far as he can and i can't blame him. If I was to try a project outside my main band (if I know had any) I would try to take that "hey, it's that guy from [insert famous band name] and his new band" label away and throw it right in the nearest dumpster. At least to get the impossible expectations out of the way.

Even though my expectations for "British Lion" was pretty low I never thought that this album actually would be below them. The song material is not as strong as the songs Steve writes for the Maiden (which I already prepared myself for) but it's not the songs that is the problem. It's the singer I have a grudge against. Richard Taylors voice is clean but it is extremely weak. I sometimes wondered if he has made a vasectomy cause his voice doesn't contain so much testosterone as it should. Despite the weak singing, some songs actually fits with it. In songs like "A World Without Heaven" and "Karma Killer" Richard actually delivers which, of course, is a good thing.

As I said before, the songs are not of the highest standard but they are not that bad. The two previosly mentioned songs are intresting and has a totality that works. If Steve Harris makes more albums together with these lads I really hope that they go in the direction that those two songs are following. How is the other material then? Just one big meh. Nothing special or memorable but fortunately, nothing completely horrible.

So if you want to buy this album just because it got Iron Maidens basist as their band title I would suggest that you back off. "British Lion" will make you dissapointed. But if you are like me and are just curious of what he is doing besides The Irons then you may actually enjoy it. If you happens to like a more layed back kind of rock with a wimpy singer.

Songs worthy of recognition: Karma Killer, A World Without Heaven

Rating: 4,5/10 Lost Worlds

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