Toronto’s Sam Coffey and The Iron Lungs have been known to blend garage-rock grit with sugary power-pop. Their first two LPs (2011’s self-titled and 2012’s Shin No Skin) saw the band fine-tune this dynamic sound, expertly layering anthemic melodies, bellowing distortion and even the occasional twangy guitar line. Now, the band is taking their pop to the next level with their third album, Gates of Hell, due out on June 24th via Southpaw Records. Case in point: their latest single, “Calgary Hill”.
“Calgary Hill” finds Coffey and Co. exploring adolescent nostalgia with a Ramones-like spirit. Backed by less distortion and more straightforward guitar hooks than before, the band’s vocal melodies achieve maximum catchiness while still brimming with punkish angst. “If it breaks your spirit, then you’re in love,” Coffey snarls sarcastically on the opening line, immediately setting the biting tone and distancing the track from a conventional love song. The refrain of “all I wanted, I always will”, though still pointed, takes a tamer stance and feels thematically indebted to Buddy Holly and rockabilly aesthetic, romanticizing a bittersweet time and place long ago.
Listen in below:
For more sounds, check out the album’s appropriately-titled lead single, “Get Pumped Up“.