Iron Claw – A Different Game

By Gruesome Greg

Interesting backstory to this Scottish band, who were active from ’69 to ’74, but never had an album to their name till the Rockadrome label put together a career-spanning comp some 35 years later. The underground buzz from said record prompted a reunion, with the three original musicians enlisting a new singer and recording this, their second official release. Many of the tunes on here date back to the band’s early 70’s heyday, albeit with a warm, modern touch on this superb-sounding recording.

Second track “Saga” is reminiscent of The Obsessed, while “The Traveler” reminds me of Rainbow, or even Mob Rules, while the title track is a little like “Children of the Sea.” Singer Gordon Brown (presumably not the embattled ex-prime minister) doesn’t sound exactly like Dio, but there’s something about his inflection, in combination with the vintage heavy rock riffage that has me thinking early 80’s Sabbath.

From there, the album takes a bluesy turn with tunes like “Angel Woman” and “Southern Skies” then strides into power ballad territory with “It’s Easy” and later “Closing In.” “Love is Blind” plays off the loud/soft dynamic, with some heavy blues riffs and mellow Bostonesque interludes giving way to a crushingly heavy chorus—and one helluva outro solo
section!

This is a solid, dynamic, vintage rock ‘n roll record, 13 tracks spanning 57 minutes yet hardly a dull moment to be found. A Different Game is more of the same—high quality heavy rock unearthed from the underground by Ripple Music!

(Ripple Music)

Sean Palmerston

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.