…Still, for all the deceptive seriousness of cinematic “Drivin’ Sideways”, its pounding rock ‘n’ roll delivers on all fronts – perhaps, thanks to the reserved attack of instrumentalists, while the singer gets DUI-delirious, as he does in the title track and the chain-swinging “Old School” that should please any SAXON fan.
Old supporters will rejoice at having previously unreleased “Running Away (From You)”, a bid for the stadium dominance, yet with Gill gone due to ill health and Bullet due to his contractual commitments in the Fatherland it wasn’t to be. What was is called OLIVER-DAWSON SAXON today, and that’s another story. ***
DME Music Site
There are many riffs that can be traced back to their past work and everything else would have come as a total surprise. The album’s best song is speedy Past The Point, even if it has resemblances with Dio’s Don’t Talk To Strangers. This is a cool document of what they sounded like back then and all in all a decent album. Not great, not bad.
Now, Bedlam is not an extraordinary band, but its raw power is often attractive and intoxicating. Aiello can sing with passion, as “I Believe in You” demonstrates, and his vocals occasionally reminds us of Maggie Bell’s…the rhythm section is strong and pumping (check out “Hot Lips”), and the guitar playing offers tasty licks inspired by the ease of the blues while rumbling and tending towards being shocking (in a good sense, that is; and we’re curious to know if Dave Ball is still in form on his new, 2012 solo debut, Don’t Forget Your Alligator, also available from Angel Air).
A bonus track in the form of Bedlam playing Cozy Powell’s hit single “Dance With the Devil” live (with mediocre sound) rounds things up. (7/10)
It was back in the mid-70′s when Graham Oliver and Steve Dawson formed the hard rocking Son Of A Bitch who would transform into Saxon with the addition of vocalist Biff Byford to the ranks.
After both Oliver and Dawson had left the NWOBHM legends by the mid-90′s they re-launched the Son Of A Bitch moniker with former Saxon drummer Pete Gill, second guitarist Haydn Conway and vocalist Ted Bullet.
The line-up proved short lived with Gill having health issues and Bullet contractual obligations elsewhere Son Of A Bitch folded with Oliver, Dawson and Conway returning as Oliver-Dawson Saxon.
Angel Air have released this 1996 debut album, Victim You, that comes with a bonus track and detailed liner notes that tell the story of the SOAB era.
There is nothing here that will come as much surprise to Saxon fans although Bullet’s melodic delivery does give the album a more commercial edge than might be expected.
Full throttle motorcycle inspired riffery and lyrics that are direct, no nonsense and inevitably somewhat dated are all in evidence.
It was never going to be easy for SOAB to appeal to anyone besides a small percentage of the Saxon fanbase and during the mid-90′s this style of hard rock was very much out of fashion and unloved.
Nevertheless, an enjoyable enough album and is certainly one for fans of both NWOBHM and Saxon to check out.
Dean Pedley, www.seaoftranquility.org (October 2012)
The timing of the original release was interesting, coming not long after Oliver had been booted out of Saxon (the album’s ‘Treacherous Times’ could well be an allusion to this). The band soon folded and not long after, Oliver and Dawson were involved in legal action over rights to the Saxon name. This re-release 12 years later doesn’t feel particularly relevant in a post nu-metal world, but taken at face value, it is just pretty darned good fun.
Dave Atkinson, www.getreadytorock.com (October 2012)
…a package well worth picking up, especially when you consider that musically ‘Victim You’ is a strong statement.
Fireworks magazine (October 2012)
…the undoubted strong point here is the riffing, which is tighter than a pair of stripy spandex strides and, at times, recalls Saxon in their early 80s pomp…
…makes a tidy inclusion in any Saxon’s fan’s collection especially as it boasts previously unreleased track Running Away.
Classic Rock magazine (November 2012)
Son Of A Bitch benefits from a charismatic frontman (Ted Bullet) who delivers the songs with a firm yet tuneful edge, confident aggression and an effective bellow. We actually feel this guy is more capable than AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, as “Old School” and – once again – “Drivin’ Sideways” demonstrate (and although it is more metal flavoured, we encourage this album as an alternative to just about any album AC/DC put out with Johnson)
A few power ballads help in making the entire output – which is already consistently rocking – all the more emotive and diverse.
Gut Feeling – Facebook group (October 2012)