Deja vu in hard rock history, especially when brought forward to the present, can be a bitch. Unless, of course, the past revisited offers a glimpse of good times and a good band. Scotland's Iron Claw pummeled the British isles with their heavy, blues laced, rock, but never released an album. Leave it to contemporary purveyors of heavy rock, California's Ripple Music, to remember and resurrect the relatively unknown Iron Claw. Excepting a recent remembrance (2009) of latent recordings, A Different Game is the first 'real' album for Iron Claw.
My first listen to A Different Game should not have been in my car: the rear speakers are nearly blown. Thanks to the heavy bottom end of Iron Claw, they're likely obliterated. Oh well. Iron Claw is heavy rock with a serious dose of blues. But their tunes are melodic as well, making them friendly. Yet, there's still a certain aggressiveness inherent in every song. The sound is stripped, mostly record live with little dubbing, and that's a healthy thing. What Love Left, The Traveler, Targets, and the title track emphasize integrity and clarity over polish. Isn't that the heart of rock?
Yet after several listens, despite the enthusiasm of nearly 40 years of sequestered silence, there's a strange but pleasing redundancy to A Different Game. My notes include: heavy, blues flare, strong guitar, nice melodic nuances but, unfortunately, that's said on nearly every cut. But, it sounds so damn good. Reflecting on their origins, this is neither native Nazareth or peer Black Sabbath. Original? Perhaps not. But A Different Game is revealing. Iron Claw was good at delivering heavy, but melodic, blues fused rock. Ripple Music was right for hooking up with this classic band. A Different Game is well recommended.
A Different Game is revealing. Iron Claw was good at delivering heavy, but melodic, blues fused rock. Ripple Music was right for hooking up with this classic band. A Different Game is well recommended.