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Live to suck - 40%

kluseba, June 26th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2008, CD, Steamhammer

Saxon is one of those exchangeable old and tired heavy metal bands that constantly repeat themselves. They have released the same type of music in slightly different variations for roughly four decades. Over the past few years, singer Biff Byford has given more and more confused interviews about what heavy metal lifestyle is supposed to mean and that it should even be considered a religion. This kind of mindset is just one step away from the stereotypical image of Manowar. I'm still not sure whether both bands' opinions are an elaborate parody or a megalomaniac case of loss of reality. All these statements made by Biff Byford have driven the band to release another anthem about rock'n roll spirit entitled ''Live to Rock''.

And this song sucks. A pseudo-epic introduction with poorly sounding distorted guitar riffs and electric sound elements that would have already sounded dated two decades prior to this release lead into a tired verse with simplistic riffs and a chorus that was stolen from an AC/DC song. Even the vocals sound like an average Brian Johnson copy. The plodding bridge of the song with overtly repeated lyrics and those horrible electric sound elements is saved by a short guitar solos that makes at least thirty seconds out of three hundred thirty-one enjoyable. At least the single version of the title track is shorter but not better for that matter. The worst thing about both versions is obviously the lyrics. Biff Byford tells us how rock music is the essence of his life and that we should also live to rock. Of course, he blames education and society for being too conservative and makes a list of all the jobs he doesn't want to have like being a teacher, solider or lawyer. While people with these professions are not as closed-minded as the singer might think and are actually also able to rock, they have a significant impact on society and make the world better every single day which can't be said about an average rock singer whose band already declined in popularity two decades before the release of this shabby anthem. The spirit of this song might sound cool if you're a rebellious teenager who got tired of high school or if your friends and you are drunk and decide to attend a rock show. If you listen to this tune when you're sober however, it's just plain boring and cringeworthy even though I must admit that the simplistic chorus is somewhat catchy. To keep it short, there are already thousands of songs with similar lyrics and the world didn't need another one. Even Saxon had much better songs about the spirit of rock music like the historically inspired ''Denim and Leather'' that was released almost three decades prior to this coaster (or frisbee if you take the vinyl version into consideration).

Aside of the two versions of the dull title track, the single also includes an acoustic version of the song ''Coming Home'' from the Killing Ground record. The track sounds like a country song that could be played as a filler on some redneck radio station in the southern part of the United States of America between Johnny Cash's ''Ring of Fire'' and Lynyrd Skynyrd's ''Sweet Home Alabama''. At least the track sounds differently from what Saxon usually do and improves this overall vapid release slightly.

In the end, I can recommend this song to those who believe rock 'n roll is the essence of their lives and those who like to listen to some old-fashioned country music in between their hard rock albums. If you believe AC/DC and Johnny Cash are the greatest musicians of the twentieth century, go grab this release and continue living in the past. Any fan of rock and metal music beyond cringeworthy stereotypes should skip this release. Same goes for all the teachers, soldiers and lawyers out there. I'm glad I got a promotional copy and didn't have to spend any money on this.