Le Griffe! Despite the dainty French name, what we have before us is a British band offering up a five-track mini-LP in the year of our lord, 1984. Breaking Strain came out on Bullet Records, a short-lived U.K. label that was around from about ’83-’85.
Five tracks. No stinkers. Can’t complain about Breaking Strain. These late-arriving NWOBHM guys churned out a healthy dose of juiced-up guitars and pounding drums. The title cut is a fleet-footed rocker that makes copious use of dual guitar harmonies. Breathe Deeply takes things in a hard rock direction — the album’s most mellow moment. Silent Running conjures upon a mighty Maiden gallop. You’re Killing Me was released as a single, though it maybe my least favorite cut of the lot. The last track, Movin’ On rocks mightily — my pick of the litter. My only gripe with Le Griffe would be that their vocalist, Chris Hatton, didn’t really have the voice to match the band’s crunch. He sounds like a fine and upstanding English fellow. Throw a little snarl into it buddy. My score: B