The formation of Iron Bridge Band is self-described as a “rebirth of old friendships,” and the resulting production is certainly a reflection of that fact. The group’s latest release, Road Not Taken, is a far cry from their three-track EP, Unbroken, in length and sound, but not in quality, keeping the same values of individual experiences and classic rock influence intact.
Road Not Taken suffers no shortage of lead guitar riffs and solos throughout the majority of the 12 tracks on the debut full-length. From “Thunder In A Sacred Place” to “Once Beautiful (Love Like Rain),” lead guitarist Steve Walsh consistently delivers fast and edgy moves, piling onto what’s already an impressive sound.
Instead of following the trend of padding the running time with filler, ultimately saving the record with a few obvious radio-ready singles, the group crafted its debut with joyful rock ‘n’ roll for most of the release. The album concludes on a soft and somber note made possible with the musical interlude “Miles To Go,” which sets the quick drop in tempo and design, allowing for a sweet transition.
The finale, “The Most Benevolent Wind,” and even the musical rendition that is “Before I Sleep,” a possible allusion to Robert Frost’s “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” hints that the group isn’t out of the loop on modern techniques in recording, and has something really incredible and creative to offer. Having said that, however, Road Not Taken does sound a little behind its time, allowing the classic rock inspirations to be taken a little far, and leaving little room to incorporate modern concepts to sound fresh and unique.
On the whole, the release is a fairly admirable debut for the band. It certainly brings the listener back to a time where rock music was still heavily influenced by the blues. Iron Bridge Band gave a piece of themselves to creating it, and in an honorable feat, stayed true to who they were.
In A Word: Auspicious