The first self-titled Sam Coffey And The Iron Lungs record was released a decade ago. Back then, the band sounded like a garage band with a country twang. In the next ten years, the band has made quite the transformation. I first fell for the band with their 2014 album Gates Of Hell, a record that had just the right mix of powerpop, rock-‘n’-roll and garage influences. The band then opted for a bigger sound on their 2018 record, again a self-titled one. Suddenly, here was a record full of fist pumping anthems made for arenas and hockey rinks. Today, the band released their follow up, titled Real One. It is the logical next step for the band. The band sounds more confident, more diverse and more ambitious than ever. The band has always wore its influences on its sleeves, and although this still unmistakingly is Sam Coffey, this one could also appeal to fans of Bruce Springsteen (listen to Magic and Sounds Alright), Thin Lizzy (She Knows), 80’s glam (Back With The Gang and Spirit Of The Radio), and even Billy Joel (15 minutes). If I am not mistaken, Gates of Heaven is the longest track the band ever recorded. It’s a 7 minute rock opera that starts out as a power ballad, turns into a groovy rock song, ultimately ending in fade out with some excellent female backups and group vocals. So yeah, plenty of fun to be had with this record, and plenty to discover upon further listens as well. And thoughout it all, I don’t think Sam Coffey has ever sung this well. You bet I am impressed with this record.
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