Son of a Bitch

Victim You

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Guitarist Graham Oliver wasted little time getting back to work following his rather unhappy departure from New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends Saxon. After reuniting with other disgruntled former members Steve Dawson and Paul Quinn to form Son of a Bitch (ironically, the name of their first band back in the mid-'70s), the group released their first album, Victim You, in 1996. As one would expect, the two bands bear more than a few similarities. But Son of a Bitch generally avoids Saxon's more traditional metal approach in favor of a gritty hard rock sound, made more distinctive by the gruff, Southern rock-type vocals of singer Ted Bullet -- quite similar to Blackfoot's Rick Medlocke. And though he occasionally commits severe lyrical transgressions like the double -- no, more like quadruple-entendre of the absurd "Driving Sideways" -- the frontman usually manages to hold his own among such seasoned veterans. Edgy rockers like "Bitch of a Place to Be" and "Treacherous Times" religiously obey the time-honored laws of classic rock through their excellent combination of melody and power; while top-notch headbangers like "Past the Point" (very reminiscent of Dio's "Don't Talk to Strangers" and "Old School" feature nods to more contemporary '90s stars like Alice in Chains. Ultimately, Victim You packs few surprises, but its overall high quality material is definitely one of them.

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