Lord knows we’ve all needed to make our own escapist entertainment over the past year, and that’s surely been particularly true for musicians confined to barracks while touring is off the agenda. So who could blame Saxon for choosing to follow up 2018’s originals collection Thunderbolt with a covers album, promising “some fun in these dark times”?
“It was interesting to see what my voice could do,” Biff Byford told Classic Rock about some of the less obviously Saxon-esque tracks chosen, such as the Rolling Stones’ Paint It, Black, on which his lower register gets a relatively rare airing, and there is something curious about the dreamy take on The Kinks’ See My Friends.
For the most part, though, Biff and co. are clearly at their best on heavier home territory. Motorhead’s Bomber is tackled with gleeful, speeding abandon, and AC/DC’s Problem Child is a thumping, chant-along delight.
An essential purchase within the Saxon canon? Possibly not. Worth a hard-rocking half-hour of your time? Definitely.