Thursday 26 March 2020

Album Review: BIFF BYFORD - School Of Hard Knocks

Biff Byford - School Of Hard Knocks

01. Welcome To The Show
02. School Of Hard Knocks
03. Inquisitor
04. The Pit And The Pendulum
05. Worlds Collide
06. Scarborough Fair (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
07. Pedal To The Metal
08. Hearts Of Steel
09. Throw Down The Sword
10. Me And You
11. Black And White
I've been a Saxon fan since I was a teenager, so when I heard that front-man and living legend Biff Byford was releasing his first solo album, School Of Hard Knocks, how could I not check it out?

Unsurprisingly, Biff's solo record sounds like Saxon. It reminds me quite a bit of their amazing mid-nineties albums Dogs Of War and Unleash The Beast both in terms of production and song-writing, which made me immediately warm to it as I absolutely love those records.

The first two songs, Welcome To The Show and School Of Hard Knocks, are great straight-up Hard Rock songs and perfect choices for singles. Had they been released under the Saxon name back in their heyday, they'd have been hits. Other highlights include the classic slab of Heavy Metal that is Hearts Of Steel, and a dark, emotional cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Scarborough Fair.

I enjoyed School Of Hard Knocks, and in many ways, I prefer it to the last few Saxon albums. It's a relatively diverse piece of work and is packed full of well written and memorable songs.


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