Back in 2015 I had the pleasure of discovering Iron Lamb and writing up their second album “Fool’s Gold”. It was a super enjoyable blast of oily biker rock that, while fun, was a bit too close to Motorhead to get any points for originality. On “Blue Haze” the Swedes have settled down a bit and established their own groove & identity and this album fucking rocks!
They still have a heavy beer soaked Motorhead vibe on tracks like “The Hunt” but a lot of the record, especially opener “Apocalypse Express” has a “Time Travelling Blues” era Orange Goblin tang to it which fits perfectly. Daniel Bragman’s vocals vary from soulfull & clean(ish) rock croon to a Lemmyalike roar depending on the track – sometimes even in the same song, check out “Bound By Gravity” – and his performance here is miles ahead of that on “Fools Gold”.
The band nail a tasty late seventies / early eighties classic rock sound on this album. You’ll be reminded of early Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Lizzy and yet the songs never sound contrived or forced. Tracks like “Into The Night” (not a Frehley’s Comet cover) with its dark, keyboard tinged melodies contrast with the almost Killing Joke-esque “Erase / Rewind” to ensure plenty of repeat spins. No one song sounds like any other which is a rarity on albums in this genre.
Overall this is a slower, less frantic but much more accomplished record than “Fools Gold” and sees Iron Lamb brimming with the sort of confident swagger that a band displays when they clearly know who they are and know their role!
(8.5/10 Mark Eve)