Angel Air Records
Search the web and you'll find out that a lot has already been written about the feud/lawsuit that lead to this particular band. Even here at Heavy Metal Time Machine we have tackled the subject in a NWOBHM Wednesday segment if I'm not mistaken. The short version though for those of you who are interested is that the band was formed in the late nineties as Son Of A Bitch. Son Of A Bitch was actually the original name of Saxon. The band was formed by original Saxon band mates Graham Oliver & Steve Dawson (guitars and bass respectively) along with drummer Pete Gill (another early Saxon member). All along the band's main focus was to play the same sort of blue-collar heavy metal that Saxon had been known for. The group ended up releasing an album ("Victim You") in 1996 under the Son Of A Bitch name before they decided they wanted to be known as Saxon. Well, that didn't happen and after a lawsuit the band became known as Oliver/Dawson Saxon and the rest as they say is heavy metal history. Now, for the most part the duo has managed to crank out nothing but live albums so "Motorbiker" is long overdue. Along for the ride this time is guitarist Haydn Conway (of fellow NWOBHM act Saracen), vocalist John "Wardi" Ward and drummer Paul Oliver. Paul is of course the son of guitarist Graham Oliver and quite the musician is his own right. With this new album the best reference point would be Saxon especially as Oliver and Dawson have very distinct playing styles. And just like Saxon the band plays rough and ready heavy metal. Now with that said as I played "Motorbiker" I was not expecting much after the first two tracks left me very unimpressed. Thankfully track number three ("Whippin Boy") was a serious cruncher and from that point on the album picked up steam. As Saxon is the prime reference point here the album could end up being compared to "Call To Arms". That would be both fair and unfair. Since Oliver and Dawson want to be Saxon again then as Saxon this does not stack up to "Call To Arms". That said if the duo are viewed as just another heavy metal act trying to grind out good old fashioned tunes then the album does that and then some. "Motorbiker" is great at presenting a modern almost power metal take on NWOBHM. It features plenty of crushing riffs, blistering leads and thunderous drum beats. The lead vocals are loud and gritty even if they are a bit grating at times. Other than the silly use of samples and out of place f-bombs "Motorbiker" is a solid slab of true blue heavy metal from some true legends. If your a Saxon fan I'd suggest picking this one up although don't expect it to be as good as "Call To Arms". If your a fan of blue-collar heavy metal then I'd also strongly suggest this album be added to your collection. But if your looking for something to remind you of old school Saxon then walk on by because "Motorbiker" will only disappoint.