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IRON CLAW - 'A Different Game' (ripple music) 5/5

One of the great pleasures about this radio DJ lark is your constantly finding great music. Sometimes its a great young band that  comes out of nowhere and bites yer balls, other times, such as with this gem, its a band that's been around for years, and has previously slipped right under your radar. Iron Claw have been around for a long time, a very long time. They formed in the Scottish boarders way back in 1969 and until 1974 they plugged away straddling the line between heavy metal and art rock with out really making much head way. Then in 2009 a compilation of their back catalogue was released to a fair amount of critical acclaim. This prompted the inevitable reformation and now we have the bands first new material in over 30 years.

And what a release A Different Game is. Thirteen cuts of top grade old school rock and metal, expertly produced and played with a fire and a passion Scottish folk hero William Wallace would be proud of. You get the doomy grindhouse riffage that tips a hat to likes of Black Sabbath and Stone Ground (remember them?); blues tinged work outs that Juicy Lucy would have been proud to call their own; country boogie classics that reminds you of the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Grinderswitch - hell there's even the ghost of Heep / Rooster style heavy prog floating around the tracks in places. Yet the whole sounds like one band, and a damn fine one at that.

After repeated play thoroughs I am finding it almost impossible to select any individual track out as a stand out moment' its all very very good and is rapidly becoming a must play on my walkman; although I will say my personal faves on the album are See Them Fall, which reminds me a tad of the very early Saxon material, the spine tingling Love Is Blind and the raw riffage of Saga.

If this album had come out in the 1970's or even in the NWOBHM era Iron Claw would have been huge, but even now this album will assure the band a cult status at the very least. BUY OR DIE

For fans of - Classic old school heavy metal / hard rock

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