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Saracen: Marilyn | FESTIVALPHOTO

Saracen: Marilyn



Escape/Sound Pollution

In the mid-seventies Childhood mates Richard Lowe, vocals, keyboards, and Rob Bendelow, guitars, formed LAMMERGIER. The line-up was completed by Steve Bettney on vocals, former folk rock guitarist Barry Yates on bass, and drummer John Thorne. The band was so successful that Polygram Records took them under their wings, but line-up changes followed, and ultimately, after a change of direction into commercial waters, the band folded in 1985. A slow reunion was in the cards in the late nineties, but, the comeback album, “Red Sky”, took until 2003. Today the band is back, now featuring the founders, backed by keyboard player Paul Bradder, bass player Richard Bendelow and drummer Paul Gibson. This album differs quite a lot from their previous crusader output, but also features new member saxophone player Snake Davis and guest vocalists extraordinaire Issa, Steve Overland of FM plus Robin Beck! What will this sound like?

Well there are no changes in the first instrumental track “Norma Jeane”. The sax sits surprisingly neat in the overall sound picture and the trademarks of SARACEN are there. The same goes for “Wither the Wind Blows”, Steve is always recognizable, at least as able as back in the day, and the Brit pomp rules. Issa handles the vocals in “Hold On”, a beautiful track which suits her vocals excellently. When Robin enters she sets her mark on just about every song, turning them into melodic rock gems. I might add that the S in SARACEN is a bit blurred at times, but still the songs really work. They have saved the best for last, the ending of the touching “Like Going Home”, the groovy “Unfinished Life” and the refrain that no one forgets, in all simplicity, “Marilyn” is top notch in 2011. I find the entire album an excellent piece of craftsmanship; not least the guitar work of the man who likes to compare his Tony Iommi Signature guitar to Sigourney Weaver´s legs! All in all, great little album, not always faithful to the band´s legacy but always pleasing the ear of the melodic rocker, nuff said

Track List
Norma Jeane
Wither the Wind Blows
Hold On (Issa)
Make This Body Work (Robin Beck)
Who Am I (Beck & Overland)
Love like a Razorblade
Break the Spell
Not for Sure (Robin Beck)
Feel like Going Home (Robin Beck)
Unfinished Life
Marilyn (Robin Beck

Writer: Mikael Johansson
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