Although original Saigon Kick singer Matt Kramer briefly reunited with the band in 1997, a full-fledged reunion was not meant to be, as Kramer exited shortly thereafter. As a result, guitarist Jason Bieler was left to call all the shots once more. The album following the aborted reunion turned out to be 1999's Bastards, which musically doesn't quite follow the guidelines of past Saigon Kick releases -- melodic pop-metal that is grander in scope than that of their competitors at the time. Saigon Kick circa 1999 turns out to be even more pop-based than ever, as evidenced by such tracks as "Jehovah" and "Meet Your Maker." In fact, some longtime fans may be left wondering, "Isn't this the same band who penned 'Hostile Youth'?" And it doesn't help matters that the group head-scratchingly decided to cover a Billy Joel song, "Big Shot" -- this coming from the same band that covered the Sex Pistols' "Bodies" on its Greatest Hits Live release. After comparing Bastards to the group's first two releases, Saigon Kick and The Lizard, it's hard not to think that this is merely a watered-down version of Saigon Kick -- both from a musical and personnel standpoint.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato