Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs, “Calgary Hill”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 05.02.14 in Listen to This

The band name and album art may promise recklessness — a Ramones-coiffed devil boozing it up outside the Gates of Hell doesn’t exactly telegraph “ballad” — but the opening moments of “Calgary Hill” from Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs are practically jangle-pop: there’s a single guitar line looping in circles like a dizzy bumblebee, a loose net of chords behind it, and Sam Coffey’s sweetly-sung, sarcastically-phrased opening warning: “If it breaks your spirit, then you’re in love.” The second it hits the chorus, it’s off to the races, a Miller-hoisted-high, hyper-melodic, sugary shout-along built for rattling the pub walls late on a Saturday night.