SAIGON KICK 'S/T'
THERE’S NO GETTING away from it, during the early 90s there were an enormous amount of hard rock bands that, although extremely talented, failed to connect with an audience. This was primarily due to the shifting sands of time and taste, with the media almost exclusively focussed on the sounds of Seattle, and, in particular, the emerging grunge movement. It was this obsession with a new trend that resulted in a number of perfectly serviceable groups being consciously sidelined. Saigon Kick was one such example.
Formed in Florida during the late 80s, this storming four man unit, led by vocalist Matt Kramer and guitarist Jason Bieler, crafted a particularly potent brand of hard rock that relied as much on power pop as it did on heavy riffs. It was an interesting twist on traditional rock and much edgier, leading to valid comparisons with other similar groups such as Love/Hate, the Wildhearts, Redd Kross, Cheap Trick and Kings X. There was also a perceptible psychedelic tinge to the arrangements helping the band to rise above the standard competition by a considerable margin.
Produced by Michael Wagener (Skid Row, Extreme, Ozzy Osbourne), and released on Atlantic records (via Michael Douglas’s Third Stone imprint), the record had been taped at a frantic pace in Los Angeles. Released in 1991 it sold well and quickly established the band as exciting contenders. The album contains a number of instantly catchy tracks, including ‘What You Say’, ‘Down By The Ocean’, ‘Love Of God’ and ‘Coming Home’. It was an impressive enough debut to warrant Atlantic records making a commitment to album number two.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, two bonus tracks, one of the best early 90s hard rock albums, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
TRACK LISTING: 1. NEW WORLD 2. WHAT YOU SAY 3. WHAT DO YOU DO 4. SUZY 5. COLORS 6. COMING HOME 7. LOVE OF GOD 8. DOWN BY THE OCEAN 9. ACID RAIN 10. MY LIFE 11. MONTH OF SUNDAYS 12. UGLY 13. COME TAKE ME NOW 14. I.C.U. BONUS TRACKS: 15. HEY HEY HEY 16. COLOURS (Accoustic)
SAIGON KICK 'THE LIZARD'
IN THE NOT too distant past, record companies would signs artists and let them develop over a period of time. A good case in point was the development of Saigon Kick. Their debut album was greeted with positive reviews and sold a healthy amount of copies, giving Atlantic records the confidence to push ahead and sanction a well-supported sophomore album, happy in the knowledge that the band was on an upwards trajectory.
With this kind of support, the band relished the opportunity to craft another record, an album that would show a refinement of their sound and style. This time around the emphasis was on finely honed songs, with far more mature arrangements, and memorable hooks. The band was perceived as operating in the melodic rock zone, which was quickly becoming obsolete in the face of the developing grunge revolution. But, like such fellow comrades as Love/Hate, Skid Row and Extreme, they managed to inject a degree of excitement into their music that actually gave them an edge over the fading late-eighties hard rock scene.
Originally issued in 1992, produced by band leader Jason Bieler, and recorded in Sweden, the contents easily eclipsed the quality of their debut album, showcasing a band with a much broader palate, focussing on sharp riffs and melodic hooks. This approach was emphasised by the surprise hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’, a track that not only upped the band’s profile but also helped the album achieve gold status.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, bonus track, Highly Regarded 2nd album featuring the hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
TRACK LISTING: 1. CRUELTY 2. HOSTILE YOUTH 3. FEEL THE SAME WAY 4. FREEDOM 5. GOD OF 42ND STREET 6. MY DOG 7. PEPPERMINT TRIBE 8. LOVE IS ON THE WAY 9. THE LIZARD 10. ALL ALRIGHT 11. SLEEP 12. ALL I WANT 13. BODY BAGS 14. MISS JONES 15. WORLD GOES AROUND 16. CHANEL BONUS TRACK: DEAR PRUDENCE
SAIGON KICK 'WATER'
SAIGON KICK’S FORTUNES were radically reshaped with the release of their second album, ‘The Lizard’ and it contained the hit single ‘Love Is On The Way’. It was a track that made them MTV stars, helping to achieve a gold album. This was a major coup for this much-loved Florida four piece that had been signed to Atlantic Records via the imprint Third Stone, a company owned by Hollywood A-Lister Michael Douglas.
However, despite these achievements, all was not well within the band’s ranks. Bassist Tom DeFile and vocalist Matt Kramer had left the band. Kramer had clashed with main songwriter Jason Bieler and it was mutually agreed that the only way to solve the problem was for Matt to depart. Not surprisingly this move left the label somewhat confused as the project was set to move to another level of success. As with the previous record, it was agreed that Bieler could not only self-produce and record mainly in Sweden, but also take on the role as lead vocalist. It was a brave move and not one without reservations from various interested parties.
Issued in 1993, ‘Water’ was actually another comprehensive statement of intent. It signalled a move towards experimentation but the original framework was still intact. Hard riffing but melodic tracks, such as ‘One Step Closer’ and ‘Torture’ nestled comfortably with such wide screen pop psych fare as ‘Sgt. Steve’, ‘Close To You’ and ‘Fields Of Rape’. Oh, and look out for a superb version of Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’.
Special Deluxe Collector’s Edition, Fully Remastered Audio, bonus track, Third and final album from this brilliant Florida based band, 12 page full colour booklet – 3,500 word essay, enhanced artwork with unpublished photos and new interview
TRACK LISTING: 1. ONE STEP CLOSER 2. SPACE ODDITY 3. WATER 4. TORTURE 5. FIELDS OF RAPE 6. I LOVE YOU 7. SGT. STEVE 8. MY HEART 9. ON AND ON 10. THE WAY 11. SENTIMENTAL GIRL 12. CLOSE TO YOU 13. WHEN YOU WERE MINE 14. REPRISE BONUS TRACK: 15. NOT ENOUGH