Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Iron Claw - 1996 - Dismorphophobia

Iron Claw 

01. Claustrophobia
02. Let It Grow
03. Gonna Be Free
04. Lightning
05. Pavement Artist
06. Loving You
07. All I Really Need
08. Take Me Back
09. Knock 'Em Dead
10. Winter
11. Strait-Jacket
12. Rock Band Blues
13. Real Mean Rocker
14. Spider's Web

Jimmy Ronnie (guitars)
Wullie Davidson (lead vocals, flute, harmonica)
Alex Wilson (bass)
Billy Lyall (mellotron, piano, saxophone, percussion)
Ian McDougall (drums, percussion)

Track 1 recorded 1970, Track 2-9 recorded 1971, track 10 recorded 1973, tracks 11-14 recorded in 1972

Odd, interesting story these guys- basically we are dealing with The Other Black Sabbath.  Some kids who happened to see Sabbath play a really early gig in '69 (actually taped it- earliest recorded Black Sabbath gig, though it doesn't circulate) and had their lives changed to the point where they immediately became basically a Black Sabbath cover band, going around playing things like "Walpurgis" before it was even rewritten into "War Pigs".  Considering Sabbath weren't exactly conquering the world at this point in time, I'd call them extremely ahead of the curve on this.

Iron Claw themselves probably sound much better now than they did back at the time- during their lifetime they never did manage to put out any official output, probably due to their really pretty derivative nature.  Mostly when I listen to second-tier hard rock bands from this era one can tell why they didn't quite cut it- a tendency to Heep-like material and/or third-rate blues-rock.

Forty years hence, questions of "originality" aren't really quite so important.  Nobody is listening to early 1970s hard rock hoping to hear something novel, I sincerely hope.  If Iron Claw are derivative, they're derivative of the best: Zep, Sabbath, early Crimson, and if the sound quality is rather poorer (to be honest this tends to be a plus in my book) the playing is, to borrow a song title not on this comp, skullcrushing.  Recommended.

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