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Iron Claw: A Different Game

Chances are the name Iron Claw is going to be pretty unfamiliar to all but a few heavy rock enthusiasts out there. This Scottish act, who formed in Dumfries back in 1969, recorded some material in the early '70s, but before they could latch onto anything solid, multiple line-up changes eventually led to the bands demise by 1974. An excellent compilation titled Iron Claw is available and contains many of those early recordings, and is well worth seeking out for anyone interested in the early '70s 'proto-metal' sound. Fast forward to 2010, and the band reunited with original members Ian McDougall (drums), Alex Wilson (bass), and Jimmy Ronnie (guitars), plus new vocalist Gordon Brown. A Different Game, released the following year in 2011 on Ripple Music, sees the band once again reaching for those heavy rock sounds with a bluesy foundation.

Plenty of rousing rockers here, such as "What Love Left", "The Traveller", "Angel Woman", "My Way Down", and the energetic title track. Ronnie is a mighty fine player, laying down a wide assortment of meaty riffs and blazing, blues based solos. Brown's vocals remind at times of Leslie West, and in fact some of the riffs here on the album wouldn't sound out of place on an old Mountain album. "Love is Blind" contains some nice acoustic picking to offset the more bombastic hard rock riffs, giving the tune an epic feel, and the crunchy blues-rock of "Targets" provides some fine air guitar moments. Late in the album you get the driving anthem "See Them Fall", a must hear for any Nazareth fan, and "Southern Sky" is one of the albums rare ballads, allowing the band to show their tender side.

Apparently, not long after the band released this album, Brown had already left, was replaced, but all for naught as Iron Claw once again broke up in 2013. That's a shame as A Different Game is proof that they guys still had what it takes to come up with some sizzling '70s styled heavy rock. If this truly is the end, then we have this recent set and the collection of early recordings to remind us of what could have been.

Track Listing
1) What Love Left
2) Saga
3) The Traveller
4) A Different Game
5) Angel Woman
6) Southern Sky
7) Falling Down
8) It's Easy
9) My Way Down
10) Love Is Blind
11) Targets
12) See Them Fall
13) Closing In

Added: June 30th 2014
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Ripple Music
Hits: 1669
Language: english

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