• Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Album Review -Saxon “Inspirations”

New Wave Of British Heavy Metal pioneers Saxon have dropped their latest album, a collections of covers from the bands that inspired them called “Inspirations”. Featuring 11 cuts by classic band such as The Beatles, Thin Lizzy and Toto, the band shows how their sound evolved from those acts that came before them, and shaped itself over the years by absorbing what other bands were putting out at the time, and reshaped it to make it their own. You’ll find some hits here, of course, Such as Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”, and Hendrix’s “Stone Free”, But Singer Biff Byford and the boys aren’t afraid to reach down for some deep cuts as well, such as Thin Lizzy’s “The Rocker” Motorhead’s “Bomber”.

Byford still has the pipes, as he shows in the aforementioned Zeppelin tune and in what’s arguably his best performance on the album, “Problem Child” an AC/DC classic. The band avoided teh trap that most other bands fall into when recording a covers album; the didn’t change the songs per se, nor did they stay 100% true to the original versions. As Byford says” We didn’t want to change the songs too much, just play them more like Saxon.” The band recorded the album using only vintage gear, like old Marshall amps, real drums. No processors here. And no keyboards, which makes for one of the best surprises on the album, a harder, heavier version of Toto’s “Hold The Line”. You don’t even miss the keys here, the twin guitars of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt more than make up for it.

That’s not to say that aren’t some misses here. “Paint It, Black”, the classic Stones song leads off the record, and it sound just a little too much , too soon. The almost operatic style of singing in the verses kind of takes away the rawness of the original. Also, the cover of the Beatles “Paperback Writer” seems, like an uninspired choice. While it’s hard to find a bad Beatles song, the band could have taken almost any other of the Fab Four’s offerings and made it louder and harder. This version just seems rather plain.
The rest of the record is definitely more hits than misses, and fans of the band, while most likely wanting original material, will be more than satisfied hearing some classics being redone by a band that is now classic in their own right, Byford stating “We think it’s very important to have-and share with the fans- some fun in these dark times.”

The album is out now and available through major outlets and streaming sites.

By Dominick Muzio

Dominick has made a career at trying to get Famous and failing miserably He has been a musician actor comedian and writer. Dominick currently sings and plays guitar for Las Vegas band Dominick Muzio and Chemical Tribe and formerly was with the band Wicked Garden and a number of bands in the greater NYC area. You can check out his music on all streaming services!

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