Oliver Dawson Saxon: Motorbiker

Can former Saxon members match glories past?

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Having previously released mostly live albums and DVDs, Oliver Dawson Saxon – featuring original Saxon members, guitarist Graham Oliver and bassist Steve ‘Dobby’ Dawson (y’see what they did there?) – have, unsurprisingly, relied on cast-iron Saxon classics in their set.

And they shouldn’t stop doing so if these lyrically weak original tracks are anything to go by. This album veers sharply from metal-by-numbers chuggers, such as dull opener Chemical Romance, the title track and Sinternet, to truly lamentable shockers – step forward album closer Nursery Crimes, with its ill-advised use of, well, nursery rhymes.

Under no circumstances whatsoever should Hickory Dickory Dock or The Grand Old Duke Of York be sung over brutal metallic riffing. Ever.

The one stand-out track is the mellow Just Another Suicide, which, if anything, shows the band do have something special – if they’d just unleash their imaginations a little. And steer well clear of nursery rhymes.

Essi Berelian

Whether it’s magazines, books or online, Essi has been writing about rock ’n’ metal for around thirty years. He has been reviews editor for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer, rock reviews editor for lads mag Front and worked for Kerrang!. He has also written the Rough Guide to Heavy Metal and contributed to the Rough Guide to Rock and Rough Guide Book of Playlists, and the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles (13th edition). Most fun interview? Tenacious D – Jack Black and Kyle Gass – for The Pick of Destiny movie book. An avid record/CD/tape collector, he’s amassed more music than he could ever possibly listen to, which annoys his wife no end.