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Articles Home » 1996 Articles » Son Of A Bitch - 1996 Victim You
Son Of A Bitch - 1996 Victim You

ARTIST: Son Of A Bitch
ALBUM: Victim You
LABEL: CAS Records
SERIAL: IRS993.021
YEAR: 1996
CD REISSUE: 2001, Angel Air, SJPCD079


LINEUP: Ted Bullet - vocals * Graham Oliver - guitar * Hadyn Conway - guitar * Steve Dawson - bass * Pete Gill - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bitch Of A Place To Be * 02 Drivin' Sideways * 03 Past The Point * 04 No One's Getting Over * 05 Treacherous Times * 06 Love Your Misery * 07 I Still Care * 08 Old School * 09 More For Me * 10 Evil Sweet Evil * 11 Victim You

When this album was first released in 1996 I remember being disgusted at not being able to get my hands on it in my neck of the woods where obscure heavy metal releases were impossible to procure. After all the lure of three original Saxon members under the bands original moniker Son Of A Bitch was too good to be true in the no-mans-land heavy metal scene of 1996. This was Oliver's first album after leaving Saxon and the thought process was (to me) that reuniting with his old cronies would surely resuscitate the original Saxon sound. Maybe. Enlisted for vocals was the ludicrously named Ted Bullet from German metal act Thunderhead, who it has to be said couldn't match Biff Byford in the vocal stakes.

The Songs
It took me probably 16 years to hear this album after its release and I'm sure if I'd been exposed to it in 1996 I might have been somewhat disappointed. It's hardly the sound of Saxon circa 1980 but it isn't bad at all and is superior to every Saxon album since 1997 in terms of overall metal quality. I always maintain Oliver took Saxon's sound with him and when I hear a song like 'Driving Sideways' it sounds like vintage Saxon and what I still wish they sounded like now. It has the vibe of what made them so great in the 80's. A track like 'Past The Point' is rooted in the mid 90's metal sound riff wise, but melodically its very polished, with superb production. 'Treacherous Times' has an AOR tinge in the chorus, something Saxon became experts in and to an extent it's a thinly veiled rip off of .38 Special's 'Hold On Loosely'. On the speed metal end of things is 'Love Your Misery' with its spitfire riffs, much more preferable than the forced power ballad of 'I Still Care' which could be Guns N' Roses in disguise. Traditional metal like 'Old School' is good for a laugh and definitely better than what stiffs like The Scorpions or Iron Maiden were doing around the same time. 'More For Me' is the closest to vintage Saxon, a relative clone of 'Motorcycle Man' in the riff department and for 1996 a reminder that the 80's weren't that far gone yet. The title track heads down the same road, a slice of metal with some near Judas Priest 'Painkiller' riffs impossible to ignore. It's easily overlooked though, nothing wrong with borrowing from fellow legends.

In Summary
Sadly Son Of A Bitch went nowhere and Dawson and Oliver continued their adventure by taking on Saxon for the rights to the name itself which they were unsuccessful in, resorting to the rather labored Oliver/Dawson Saxon moniker. For the time this is a good attempt at recapturing an audience that had probably moved on from Saxon and as pointed out it has far more of a real Saxon vibe than Saxon themselves. It goes to show how essential Oliver was to the whole enterprise after all.

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