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Saigon Kick

It looks like actor Michael Douglas has another hit on his hands, if the packed house and manic response to Saigon Kick was any indication.

Cast:
Band: Matt Kramer, Jason Bieler, Phil Varone, Chris McLernon.

It looks like actor Michael Douglas has another hit on his hands, if the packed house and manic response to Saigon Kick was any indication.

This time, however, it’s Douglas’ record label, Third Stone/Atlantic, that is enjoying the fruits of success, as Saigon Kick’s ballad, “Love is on the Way,” races up the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts, spawned by “The Lizard,” the band’s sophmore album for Third Stone.

In addition to a plethora of industryites, including label chairman Douglas, members of Faster Pussycat, Kick Tracee and East of Gideon were on hand to cheer on the competition.

Long-time favorites in their native Miami, the quartet garnered press accolades and a small cult of fans off its 1991 self-titled debut, and though it’s taken a big, lush ballad to garner them heavy rotation on MTV and radio, their repertoire is eclectic, ranging from Beatle-esque harmonies and lilting, memorable melodies, to acoustic-based numbers to heavy, near-grunge.

One of the disc’s heaviest is “Hostile Youth,” the album’s first single, which didn’t fare especially well at metal radio, but which now may have a new lease on life thanks to Saigon Kick’s rising popularity.

The bottom-heavy mix at the Roxy and drummer Phil Varone’s massive drum sound served the band well on their aggressive, metallic tunes, which included the stunning “Hostile Youth,””Freedom” and “Peppermint Tribe.” Even when the foursome is at their heaviest, there’s a balance: the strong harmonies and backing vocals, coupled with singer Matt Kramer’s artistic, often Jim Morrison-like presence, sees to that.

It wasn’t long into the set before Kramer stage-dove into the moshing crowd, and though the packed house certainly got a chance to headbang, songs like the timeless, U2-ish “God of 42nd Street,” the quirky “What You Say” and twisted punk passion of “Ugly” were equally as effective. Again showcasing their versatility and amazing vocals, Saigon Kick chose to encore on the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence” with a bit of the Doors’ “Love Me Two Times” tossed in for good measure.

From the looks of things, “The Lizard” has legs, and it appears that Third Stone has done well in trusting their basic instincts when it came to Saigon Kick.

Saigon Kick

(The Roxy; 450 capacity; $ 15 top)

Production: Promoted by Parc Presentations. Reviewed Nov. 11, 1992.

Cast: Band: Matt Kramer, Jason Bieler, Phil Varone, Chris McLernon.

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