Given the prominent songwriting role that Iron Maiden mainman Steve Harris occupies in his main band – and the obvious ambition that said group’s material has displayed in its three-and-a-half decades together – it was perhaps inevitable that he would eventually wish to express himself outside the relatively strict confines of Maiden.
British Lion has apparently been worked on for a very long time indeed, and that only appears to have accentuated the sense of variety at work. The grungy tones of opener This Is My God, for example, nods at 90s alt.rock, whereas The Chosen Ones harks back to the 70s with its loveably cheesy take on the likes of UFO. Meanwhile, the sentimental Eyes Of The Young wouldn’t sound out of place in an 80s LA hair metal band. It’s really only on Us Against The World (a Maiden song, simple as that) that the expected musical hallmarks appear, albeit with Richard Taylor’s soft voice – a far cry from Bruce Dickinson’s muscular and dramatic delivery.
To what extent this will be of interest to Maiden fans is uncertain and, though it’s not entirely a chore to listen to, it is probably not memorable enough to appeal far outside of that circle.