Three Lions - Three Lions (Frontiers Records)

It's coming home. it's coming home...
Release Date: 
17 Apr 2014 - 11:30pm

Blimey. There are, finally, some tangible rewards to being editor of heavy metal’s liveliest read. I had to pull rank over both LK Strykes and Ferrum Templor to bag the review for this, the debut album from unknown Brit hard rock trio Three Lions; and by crikey I’m glad I did. Why? Get comfortable, and I’ll tell you…

They may be unknown now, but surely that's not a state of affairs that'll be lasting two much longer, for Three Lions, despite the Britpop/football crazy nature of the moniker, are a classy three piece featuring former Ten/Asia axepert Vinny Burns, drumming cohort Greg Morgan (also an erstwhile member of Manc AOR exponents Ten) and bassist vocalist Nigel Bailey (an unkown name to me, if I’m honest), who deal in titanic melodies, muscular riffs and songs – make that SONGS – that’ll have you salivating like a Pavlovian pooch if it’s unreconstructed, eighties-flavoured AOR mathem that gets you up and rolling of a morning.

Three Lions is an utterly convincing, irresistible proposition. Sure, we knew all about Burns and Morgan, and predictably neither man lets us down here, putting in faultless performances throughout – however it’s the vocal prowess of Bailey that really sets the pulse racing here. English hard rock has found its next great voice, and every track on TL rams that point home. As equally at home on pacey hard rockers like Hellfire Highway or opening single Trouble in a Red Dress as he is on more balladic fare such as Two Hearts Beat as One or Made For Each Other, Bailey truly has a voice in the rich tradition of the likes of David Coverdale, Brian Howe and Steve Overland, without ever really sounding like any of those giants of rock vocalism. Suffice to say he can handle anything Burns throws at him musically, even finding time for a little eastern wailing on the epic Kathmandu.

 Obviously there’s nothing here we haven’t heard before – production wise, song wise and style wise this album really could have come out in 1986, but every song is attacked with such sincerioty, such verve and such skill you’ll be hard pressed to find a bad word to say about it. If you like the likes of Airrace, FM, Outside Edge or any of those other Brit AOR legends from the mid eighties, there’s no way you won’t want this in your collection. (Shuffles off into the night, humming ‘it’s coming home, it’s coming home – hard rock’s coming home’)…