Inspired By … Saigon Kick

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can strike at any time and in ways you might never have imagined. The wonderful thing about any kind of art, to me, is its ability to connect with and deeply move you. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’re moved to try and write your own song, paint your own painting or take up photography (though it may indeed do that in some cases). The moving part is a sense of extraordinary presence, resonance and connection that can almost overcome you when you’re experiencing and relating to something that is reaching you at a deep soul and spirit level.

Saigon Kick did that to me, particularly with their 4th studio album, “Devil in the Details.”


Here now is a band that defies description. Not unlike Extreme, they entered mass public consciousness in the early 90’s with a hit ballad (“Love Is On the Way”), a beautiful song that was completely unrepresentative of the balance of their work at the time. Next came the unfair lumping into the hair metal discard pile and subsequent bulldozing by the tsunami of grunge that had taken rock radio by the throat by mid-decade, and an eventual parting of the ways. Happily, SK is now doing the odd gig here and there and lead guitarist, Jason Bieler, re-emerged some years ago with lots of his own new music to share (which he’s released under the project / band name “Owl Stretching”) and one of the more entertaining Twitter feeds I follow.

The first time I saw Saigon Kick, they were the supporting act of Extreme’s “III Sides to Every Story” tour. If only I’d known then just how special it would be to see those two bands together (though they are both set to sail later this winter on the Monsters of Rock cruise).

Saigon Kick was/is heavy, melodic and diverse. Decades (gulp!) later, their music holds up. Fingers crossed for something new in the not-too-distant future. But in the meantime, here’s their sadly overlooked 4th studio album, “Devil in the Details,” a stellar effort from start to finish. I still haven’t heard anything else that sounds quite like it.

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