Sunday, August 14, 2011

Saxon - Denim and Leather

Country: United Kingdom
Year: 1981
Label: Carrere

Ahhh, good ol' Saxon. These guys will be releasing killer records from their graves, I swear. This year's A Call to Arms was absolutely fucking awesome, and Biff Byford is 60 years old! The guy still sounds like a demon! For some reason, this band gets looked at as 'second-tier' NWOBHM band by a lot of people, and I will never for the life of me understand why. Hell, I even love their so-called 'mid-period slump'. But I digress; let's turn the clock back to 1981, when the mighty and criminally underrated Saxon unleashed Denim and Leather, one of the most essential releases in their rather expansive discography. This takes has everything that ruled about early NWOBHM and catapults it into the stratosphere. The riffs will rock your head right off your neck, the vocals are powerful and charismatic, the solos will leave your air-guitar in need of a serious tune-up - everything is just perfect. If you aren't all grins from the moment 'Princess of the Night' kicks in, then you simply aren't cut out for metal, there's no two ways about it. Every cut on here is a memorable, rip-roaring tour-de-force of hard rockin', blues riffin', rough-ridin' New Wave of British Heavy Metal served piping hot with a generous side of attitude. Biff Byford's unique, unmistakable vocals have always been one of the best things about Saxon, and naturally he's in top form here, and the axework provided by Graham Oliver and Paul Quinn is absolutely sublime. Steve Dawson and Pete Gill's workmanlike rhythm section forms a solid, well-performed foundation. It's probably no secret at this point, but Saxon is one of my all-time favourite bands. If you haven't taken the time to really check them out, I suggest you treat yourself. I'll definitely be posting more Saxon later on down the road, but this is a good place to start. After all, denim and leather brought us all together!

For fans of Demon, Angel Witch, Diamond Head, and Mythra.

Denim and Leather