Three Lions - 'Three Lions'

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Three Lions - 'Three Lions'

Highly recommended.

The guys at Frontiers have a knack of putting artists together to initiate musical ideas, and this debut release surely ranks as one of their best project ideas yet.

Three Lions features two Melodic Rock veterans, along with a relative newcomer to the scene. Leading the charge is legendary guitarist Vinny Burns (Dare, Ten, Asia, etc.), while making a return to Rock music to occupy the drum-stool is Burns' former Ten and Dare band-mate Greg Morgan. The newcomer is vocalist and bassist Nigel Bailey, who turns in a genuine 'where the hell has he been hiding until now' showing. Although Burns' trademark guitar style is all over the album like a rash, it's Bailey who steals the show with an amazingly classy performance, his rich, soulful tones encompassing the melodies like a hot caramel sauce oozing over a sponge pudding.

Musically, it doesn't ape any band in particular, but takes references from some of the finest melodic acts to emerge from the U.K., which inevitably includes Burns' previous work, namely early Dare, the more commercial side of Ten (with nods to Gary Hughes' solo work) and Bob Catley's solo albums. But I also hear touches of FM, Thunder and Yorkshire rockers Lost Weekend in there too, along with some Thin Lizzy fire on the heavier numbers, but when you think about it all the aforementioned acts are intrinsically linked together somehow anyway. Augmenting the trio is man-of-the moment Alessandro Del Vecchio, who takes much credit for initiating the project in the first place, while also adding to Burns' keyboard parts and assuming production responsibilities; the album sounds absolutely amazing.

'Three Lions' features an astounding number of supremely catchy Melodic Rock anthems, namely lead single 'Trouble In A Red Dress', 'Hold Me Down', 'Just A Man', 'Holy Water', 'Magdalene' and 'Don't Let Me Fall', interspersed with a couple of more dramatic numbers in the 1970s Classic Rock-style ('Twisted Soul' and the wonderfully evocative Eastern-tinged 'Kathmandu') along with the high-octane rocker 'Hellfire Highway', while the softer side of the band is revealed with some very classy ballads. 'Winter Sun' wouldn't have sounded out of place on Dare's 'Out Of The Silence' debut, 'Two Hearts Beat As One' is a silky-smooth slow burner that brings Foreigner and Whitesnake to mind, the stirring 'Made For One Another' is a true lighter-in-the-air moment, while the album closes with the wonderful instrumental 'Sicilian Kiss', featuring a wonderfully unforgettable Vinny Burns guitar melody.

This month is absolutely full of high-quality Melodic Rock releases, 'Three Lions' ranks highly amongst them as it is the type of album that definitely appeals to the vast majority of Fireworks & Rocktopia readers. Highly recommended.

Ant Heeks

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