It’s been 40 years since anyone really heard from Scottish hard rock and metal pioneers Iron Claw, but much like a pristine bottle of Black Bowmore scotch whiskey from the same era – they sure got sweeter with time.
A Different Game is the product of the band’s recent studio reunion, resulting in a collection 13 blues driven rock tracks reminiscent of their fellow Scotsmen Nazareth. It’s a sound that’s clean, clear, focused and a pleasure to listen to. For rock fans wondering what the hell happened to the classic rock sound, this album shows that rock was actually asleep for 40 years and finally emerged with a fresh take on the classic sounds we’ve come to love.
Lead by the gruff vocals of Gordon Brown, Iron Claw stirs up memories of classic Deep Purple, Bad Company, Nazareth and Thin Lizzy with a sound that is familiar, but uniquely their own. The first single and lead off track, What Love Left, is an ass kicker that’s meant more for the home stereo than the iPod. Even with the best headphones, there’s something about a good arena rock sound that needs to breathe and go beyond a quarter-inch speaker shoved in your ear. Sometimes you just need to have the walls shake a bit and A Different Game is something that can get the job done.
Other standout tracks on the album include the title track, the ballad It’s Easy and the old-school rocker The Traveler. In the band’s official bio it says that some of these tracks have been kicking around since the 70s waiting to get recorded and maybe that’s why they sound more honest than other attempts at creating that vintage sound. It really is like time was stuck in that bottle of Black Bowmore – it just took an Iron Claw to get it out.