SAIGON KICK – Back in 1992, I did not buy this Saigon Kick album. Nor did I buy it in 2002 either. Instead, 19 years after it’s release, I bought The Lizard CD used at an indoor antiques market. The price set me back 3 dollars (American). I have always been familiar with the huge hit single/ballad – Love Is On The Way, it’s a good song, even though it’s still a ballad! The lyrics are positive and inspirational, so it’s not one of those ballads that makes me feel like the end is near and no one loves me.

For those who have no idea what Saigon Kick sounds like, this was a band that captured Rock, Hard Rock and mainstream Heavy Metal styles, while stitching in a bit of modern sound for their time. Mr. Big and Extreme are two bands that come to mind, when comparing Saigon Kick to any of their peers of the day. Extreme added plenty of funk to their hard & heavy sound back in the 90’s, yet Extreme also had the mainstream appeal and a smash hit ballad too with More Than Words, (1991). Mr. Big could play the hard & heavy songs too, while they also had the mellow ballad with To Be With You, (1991). Similarities sure, all three unique bands just the same.

The one song on The Lizard that I don’t quite understand is My Dog. This song is extremely short, (probably under one minute, I did not time it). My Dog has a heavy flair, still it tends to be out of place within The Lizard. Maybe My Dog meant something to lead vocalist/lyricist Matt Kramer or to guitarist Jason Bieler, who wrote the music. It would be interesting to find out the story behind the song… My Dog.

There are 16 songs on The Lizard, which is a commendable amount for a full studio album. The opening track – Cruelty, is an instrumental, filled with atmospherics of distant shouts. Cruelty also has a groovy guitar lead that makes for an interesting intro for this album. Sleep is also an instrumental, at track #11, acting as almost a necessary intro to All I Want. Another positive song lyrically, All I Want was another popular song from Saigon Kick, heard just about everywhere back around 1992.

Saigon Kick does let loose the hard and heavy with songs such as: The Lizard, All Alright, Miss Jones and Body Bags. All Alright and Body Bags happens to be my two favorite songs on this album, they both just “hit” me the right way! These four songs exemplify why Saigon Kick could be included in 1990’s Heavy Metal conversations. The Lizard is an album that definitely exhibits the versatility of Saigon Kick, this surely is an album from them I recommend to Rock, Hard Rock and 1990’s Arena Rock and 1990’s mainstream Heavy Metal fans. (Gee Metal whiz, did I cover enough genres there?). Truly, the musical diversity of this Saigon Kick album – The Lizard, is appreciated by this music nut.

This Saigon Kick lineup emitted a bounty of musical talent, in my Metal opinion. Jason Bieler on guitar is standout, (to my ears), providing plenty of melodic moments throughout The Lizard. Jason’s soft and heavy guitar playing compliments each and every song I hear on The Lizard. Matt Kramer on vocals never goes over the top, my ears enjoy listening to his voice… he really can sing. The Lizard, one fine album.

We live in an era of band reunions, if this Saigon Kick lineup reunited to create a new album, it would probably sound pretty damn good… and diverse too. What possibly could be wrong with that?

* The Lizard was released in 1992 on Third Stone/Atlantic Records.

Saigon Kick, as they appeared on The Lizard:

Matt Kramer – lead vocals

Jason Bieler – guitar

Tom Defile – bass

Phil Varone – drums

Track Listing For The Lizard:


Hostile Youth

Feel The Same Way


God Of 42nd Street

My Dog

Peppermint Tribe

Love Is On The Way

The Lizard

All Alright


All I Want

Body Bags

Miss Jones

World Goes Round




  1. You just inspired me to listen to a block of Saigon Kick. I need to listen to this band more.

  2. I heard it once in college. I bought it for $1 maybe 10-11 years agin in the bargain bin and listened to it once. I liked it alright, but just not enough to want to hear it that often.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      You can’t beat paying just one buck!! Based on there being 16 songs on “The Lizard”… that comes out to… 6.25 cents per song!! (:

  3. I bought this one used probably about 12 years ago during my big hair metal craze. Like many people, I thought because they did a power ballad the whole album would fit that genre. A bit too alternative sounding for me, I was disappointed by it.

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I can understand your point of view. The “diversity” of songs on this album is what draws me in… making for a “detour” from what I habitually listen to.

      At least you bought the CD at a used price! It makes it more soothing when you don’t like an album totally. (:

  4. Doesn’t it seem like “Saigon Kick” got the inspiration for their band’s name from the “Hanoi Rocks“‘s name?

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I do see the relevance there. I wonder what a “Saigon Kick” is anyways? It sounds like a strong alcoholic drink to me.

      • >I wonder what a “Saigon Kick” is anyways?

        Probably has no real meaning.
        But Hanoi is a city is Vietnam and so is Saigon. And “rock and “kick” sound vaguely similar.
        That’s why I think this band got the idea for their name from Hanoi Rocks.

        I’ve never really been a Saigon Kick fan…but they’re from Florida (like me).
        Other famous Florida acts:
        Marilyn Manson, Savatage, Roxx Gang, Limp Bizkit, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Deicide, Iced Earth, and more I’m sure.

  5. Loved Saigon Kick, and I thought they were unfairly labeled hair metal, they really fit in more with the alternative rock then they did the metal audience that they won over.

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