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…METAL! Heavy fucking metal! This album is all about power, steel, fistfights, beer, motorcycles, cigarettes, denim and leather. I can safely say that this is in fact the most Metal album I’ve ever heard. “Kings of Metal” may try, “Kill ‘Em All” and “Feel The Fire” definitely have the Metal spirit with the capitol M. But there is nothing that can challenge Saxon’s “Denim And Leather” in sheer drinking, fucking and headbanging joy.
So yes, lyrically this is superior to every other album I’ve heard, and it will make anyone who is Metal at heart go absolutely wild.
“I was lying on the beach, taking the rays
Listening to Deep Purple, reminiscing of old days
I was hassled by a lifeguard, so I kicked him to the ground
There’s always someone somewhere who’ll try to turn you down”
Listen and learn, kids. Biff Byford is the fucking man.
Also musically, this is one of the highs of NWOBHM, no doubt about it. Very catchy and memorable riffs and absolutely mindblowing solos - early Saxon had some of metal's greatest solos. Every song has a fucking awesome solo to back it up - are at the forefront along with Byford’s awesome voice – he may not have a great range, but he’s got the balls, my friends. Also, the drumming is truly intense here. The style is pretty standard for this type of music, but it’s played way better than most drummers can hope to. Perfectly placed insanely cool fills (especially on “Play It Loud”) and very solid rhythm works provides the important backbone for this album, along with the well played and perfectly mixed bass.
Together on this album, the guys blast out some truly immortal anthems of Heavy Fucking Metal. Motorcycle-song Princess of the Night opens the album in a speed metal manner, and from there it’s just a ride of crazy heavy metal all through.
“Never Surrender”, “Rough And Ready” and “Play It Loud” are probably my favourites on here along with the title track. Classic fuck-the-world-and-play-heavy-metal anthems done better than most can ever hope to be, and with some of the catchiest riffs ever, especially “Play It Loud”. And as previously mentioned, the lyrics OWN!
“Standing on a corner, asking for a smoke
I’ll kick you in the deep, boy, steal away your girl
Talked into a night-fight, they cut me to the bone
Don’t you mess with me, boy, you better leave me alone!”
And of course the previously mentioned title track… DENIM! AND LEATHER! BROUGHT US ALL TOGETHER! IT WAS YOU THAT SET THE SPIRIT FREE! I have orgasmic sensations when that plays in my speakers. A midpaced heavy metal anthem like no other, and should be considered a true metal classic, just like the entire album.
But really, there’s nothing on the album that does not completely own. Sure, when they try to write love lyrics on the song “Out of Control” it comes off as very forced, cause Saxon aren’t supposed to write love songs- but musically, it’s killer. More melodic than the rest, and very nicely done. And this album has plenty of brilliant lyrics to make up for one song that falls short in that one department.
“Fire In The Sky” also has some kinda out of place lyrics, suddenly dealing with nuclear war, but it works quite well, and again the music rocks. Pay special attention to that cool lead section that appears in the middle of the song. Not typical Saxon style, but very catchy, great stuff. I could go on dissecting this album a bit more, but I’m gonna let you guys find out for yourself, if you don’t have this already (in which case you haven’t experienced Metal).
“I’m sick of people saying our music is too loud
They never stop complaining, try to turn us down
But if you want it louder, we’ll turn it up full blast
They’ll never stop the music, they’re living in the past!”