IRON LAMB - Fool's Gold [High Roller Records] (CD)
Sweden | Punk
Iron Lamb from Stockholm have issued one 12'" EP and their highly acclaimed debut album 'The Original Sin' for High Roller Records. They originally formed in 2009 out of the ashes of renown bands such as Repugnant, General Surgery, Dismember and Bombstrike. With a new line-up consisting of Daniel Bragman (vocals), Johan Wallin (guitars), Daniel Ekeroth (bass), Jens Backelin (guitars) and Thomas Daun (drums) Iron Lamb have recorded their second album entitled 'Fool's Gold', another bona fide Punk/Metal classic.
It's been a while since 'The Original Sin', so what has happened within the Iron Lamb camp' 'Well, we got another guitarist, lost a singer and then found a new singer,' laughs Johan Wallin. 'We also recorded stuff for a split 12" and two different 7" singles, so we haven't been all gone. Some of us also had kids, so it took a little longer than we hoped for to record our second album.' Johan explains the line-up changes in a bit more detail: 'Jens B'ckelin (Martyrdod, ex-Sanctuary in Blasphemy, Sunday Morning Einsteins) joined as a second guitarist, but that was even before 'The Original Sin' was released. Also Grga quit the band and we have a new vocalist in Daniel Bragman (ex-Tyrant, Vinterland, The Black etc). We are very happy with the present line-up.'
If you compare the new record to the rather raw debut album, then you'll definitely come to the conclusion that 'Fool's Gold' is a more rounded effort. Johan puts this into his own words: 'Some people who have already heard it, feel that it's more mature. I don't like that word, but I guess they have a point. I'd say we're starting more and more to sound like we aimed for when starting the band. The songs are maybe slightly slower generally, and the production is a bit more clear, although it's far from polished. Daniel's vocals are a bit rougher than Grga's, so the new album is both, a bit cleaner and a bit more dirty at the same time. I think it pretty much carries on where the debut album has left off, it's still classic sounding rock and roll.'
And sure as hell that old Mot'rhead feel has not disappeared either. Iron Lamb are not out to copy anybody but just like Alan Davey's Gunslinger they live and breathe the spirit of 1977 era Motorhead. 'Sure, that feeling ain't going nowhere, that's for sure,' remarks Johan. 'Fast Eddie Clarke obviously has been a huge influence on us as a band, both for riffs and lead guitar work. I never liked Phil Cambell. To be honest, I don't like anything about him. Not his playing, not his guitar sound, not his look. I still think Motorhead did many good or great albums after Campbell joined, but I'm sure they would have been much better with Eddie (or Robbo for that matter).'
According to Iron Lamb's guitarist, there are no real key songs on 'Fool's Gold': 'Honestly, most of them are key songs. Most people who heard the album have their own favourite songs, so I guess that means that there are no fillers. Personally, I really like 'One Way Track' and 'Feed The Fire' (for their simple and punchy nature), 'Smile Now, Cry Later' (for its catchiness), 'Leave Me Be' (cause it's so far away from anything we have done in the past) and 'Deadend Blues' (for its heaviness and sombre touch).'
The mentioned "Smile Now, Cry Later" actually has a slight Ramones touch, no wonder as Iron Lamb are huge fans of classic punk rock. 'Sure it has,' confirms Johan. 'Classic punk rock and classic hard rock are the stones Iron Lamb are built upon. Old punk, when there was still a 'rock' in the word is a huge influence: Ramones, Dead Boys, Sex Pistols, The Testors, GG Allin etc. All the good stuff...'
'Fool's Gold' as an album title is undoubtedly open to different interpretations. 'It could mean a lot of things,' concludes Johann and laughs: 'How's that for a clich'' To me it basically means that everything that glitters ain't gold. Huge parts of the music scene (and life in general) are built upon the current hypes, what the most important people in the scene think, journalists or whatever is fashionable at the time. Sometimes the hype is worth it, most of the times it's not. I think it's something to always have in mind. Everything that glitters ain't gold, and what is gold anyway' It won't save you if you're starving.'
Well, we all hope Iron Lamb won't be starving any time soon. It's not to be expected as most of the reviews for 'The Original Sin' debut album have been pretty favourable, e.g. in Rock Hard, Germany's leading independent Metal magazine. 'I was not really surprised about that', says Johan Wallin, 'but I was very happy that some people liked it. Not only journalists of course. I am genuinely happy and grateful for any fan that likes our stuff. When it comes down to it, we play mainly for ourselves, but if other people like it as well, it means we can do fun things, like record albums and play live.'
So you better watch out, Iron Lamb might be heading to your hometown as well. 'We didn't do any excessive touring,' states the Swedish guitarist. 'But we did a couple of smaller European tours, and played some shows in Scandinavia. Also a couple of festivals. Hopefully we will be able to play more live shows with the new album!'