Saigon Kick

Saigon Kick

Third Stone/Atlantic, 1991

http://www.facebook.com/pg/saigonkickofficial

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/27/2014

Coming out of Florida, Saigon Kick quickly became one of the only so-called hair metal bands to come out of the early ‘90s that I gave a damn about. While they are best known for the 1992 ballad “Love Is On The Way,” the band’s debut album is one of the best and most surprising metal/hard rock records of the decade! Kicking off with the opening of "New World," one is fully aware that they are listening to a different brand of hair metal, one that is full of psychedelic and all-around quirky influences. This release is where Saigon Kick developed the sound that they became known for.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

While their sophomore record, The Lizard, is a decent album, it relies too heavily on gimmicks, including loopy oddball songs and overtly sentimental ballads to gain sales. This album has none of that and succeeds in just about everything it tries. The combination of heavy guitar crunch courtesy of Jason Bieler, a fantastic rhythm section in bassist Tom DeFile and drummer Phil Varone, an amazing vocalist in Matt Kramer and crisp, non-dated production courtesy of Michael Wagener really made this record stand out from the rest of the rest of the poodle haired pack. With all this going for them, the band really proved that they could stand out.

Matt Kramer's lyrics, which can veer from serious ("Coming Home" and "Down By The Ocean") to quite silly ("What Do You Do") help to serve the album in more ways than one. The music is eclectic as hell but that only serves as more of a selling point for the band. And let's not forget the songs, 90% of which still hold up over twenty years later; from the amazing "Coming Home" and "Colors" to the closing finale of "I.C.U.," the band really strove to prove that they weren’t all about sex with groupies and snorting all the drugs in the world.

The fact that they are only known for a ballad is a shame, but the band has been working on trying to correct that. The band reunited a year ago and brought their dynamic grasp of the material to a new generation of fans. Just take one listen to this record and if something doesn’t move you or stir you in some way, well, then maybe you don’t need to be listening to rock music. For this writer, this is one of the top twenty records of the ‘90s.

Rating: A

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