Monday, October 01, 2012

Steve Harris-British Lion


 Steve Harris should need no introduction. Unless you are new to the genre known as heavy metal (in which case welcome to the family!) or have never bothered to read the line-up information that comes with your favorite NWOBHM albums (in which case I have to seriously wonder about you) Steve is best known as the bassist/chief songwriter for the one and only Iron Maiden. "British Lion" (which was the name of a band that Steve Harris had taken under his wing back in the late nineties) is the debut solo album/side-project from Steve Harris. As stated the album's roots can be traced back to a separate band, however, make n mistake about it-at the end of the day this is a Steve Harris project. All he did was pick up ex-British Lion member's  Graham Leslie (guitar) and Richie Taylor (vocals). If you are the curious type I've included the exact line-up information at the bottom. And speaking of being curious (if you're at all like me then I imagine you are) no, this does not sound like Iron Maiden even if you do have Iron Maiden's primary songwriter. In fact this has more in common with the likes of UFO and Thin Lizzy then Iron Maiden.Heck, there is even some Kansas love to be found along the way. It is the hard rock version of Kansas mind you, but still this is NOT one of those albums where you find yourself saying "You know what this album could use more of? It needs more Kansas!". There were moments here and there where the band gets things humming just right. Those moments? Well, here's the thing. As I sat down to look over my notes that I had typed up I noticed that some one (no names mentioned, but I'm pretty sure it was my son Matt as he was the only one here with me this past weekend!) had closed down the page without saving it. Do I really want to listen to the album all over again then? Not really. The few good spots (nice guitar solos and experimental bass techniques from Steve Harris) are not enough to counter the band spots (decent at best production and a very weak lead singer). This album did have the makings of something really good which is why I'm surprised that Steve Harris settled for a guy who sounds like he belongs in a cover band and thought that the album's self-production wouldn't be an issue. Being that this is Steve Harris I really wanted to be floored by the whole affair, but instead it's more likely to be one of those albums where I pick and choose a few songs to add to mix CDs and ignore the rest.

Steve Harris-bass
 Richard Taylor-lead vocals
David Hawkins-guitar/keyboards (all tracks except 5, 6 and 8)
Grahame Leslie - guitar (tracks 5, 6 and 8)
 Barry Fitzgibbon - guitar (tracks 5, 6 and 8)
 Simon Dawson - drums (tracks 2, 4 and 9)
 Ian Roberts - drums (tracks 5, 6 and 8)
 Richard Cook - drums (tracks 1, 3 and 7)

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