For the first minute this sounds like a lost Thin Lizzy or ZZ-Top song. It soon becomes apparent it is neither and I mean that as a compliment. By the time the kids chorus of backing vocals hit their mark Sam Coffey is showing his true colours as a classic rock and roller with a penchant for soaring guitar licks. It’s kind of Dinosaur Jr, kind of Alice Cooper, kind of brilliant.
Fresh from the Canadian wilds Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs are a band with an eye on a good time. They want the kind of good time that can only be had by playing exactly the type of music they enjoy, as opposed to whatever is ‘In’ or what might make them big. As ironic chance might have it, that could well be the thing that takes them round the world.
The Phil Lynott comparisons cannot be over stated in Sam’s vocal delivery. There are some really Lizzy moments in Tough. On songs like Talk 2 Her they sound like Cheap Trick, on You Don’t Have To Be Nice they’ve got a Lemonheads and Big Star vibe until they fall back into Kiss meets Indie Superdrag groove. That is all as much fun as it sounds.
The comfortable bonhomie and sense of fun in their music is infectious. Their debut album is full of songs like Tough that feel like familiar territory to plaid shirt wearers and fans of cut off denim and trucker caps.