Snakecharmer – Second Skin
Frontiers Music srl
Release Date: 12/05/2017
Running time: 51:00
Review by Vikkie “Queen Of Rock” Richmond
There seems to be a glut of ‘super groups’ rising to prominence these days and Snakecharmer is the latest one to grace my turntable with their wares. “Second Skin” is the second album from Whitesnake’s Neil Murray, coming a surprising four years after the eponymously titled debut. Also featuring members of Thunder, Wishbone Ash, Ozzy Osbourne and Heartland, Snakecharmer is a veritable feast of musical talent, brought together to play classic rock their way.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this eleven track offering, but the opener “Sounds Like A Plan” is a clear shot across the bows of the good ship Classic; it is suffice to say that Chris Ousey’s vocals have a raspy, vibrato style going on that wouldn’t have been out of place twenty or even thirty years ago. The old school sound runs through the whole album but I feel is particularly prominent on second song, “That Kind Of Love”, with the harmonies on the vocals and the overall feel-good vibe to it.
One of my favourite tracks is “Are You Ready To Fly” as it kicks in with a down and dirty vibe and features a sweet guitar solo which brings the song to its peak. The rather lovely “I’ll Take You As You Are” features some soulful guitar effects and is pretty uplifting.
“Hell Of A Way To Live” has a more modern feel to it, with some nice vocal harmony work, a raunchy riff underpinning the song and a nice time signature change towards the end. However, I had to check for technical difficulties when “Dress It Up” kicked in; for a second I thought I had inadvertently changed music to AC/DC, but it’s a rocking song nonetheless.
“Forgive And Forget” is an altogether more mellow effort, with a funky back line which builds up to a big chorus before dropping back to a more laid back vibe with some nice piano effect. Closing track “Where Do We Go From Here” is a big, powerhouse of a semi-ballad, featuring some echoing vocals and huge guitar sounds – it’s a perfect closing song.
Snakecharmer are not reinventing the rock wheel with this album, however what they are doing is taking the ‘classic’ vibe and rocking the bejesus out of it. Does it sound a bit dated? Maybe a little, in some places, but it’s a passable, pleasant listen and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a bit of cowbell? There is talent in abundance and the experience of the musicians shines through. I did see them at this year’s Ramblin’ Man fair and whilst they were clearly at the top of their musical game, I was left feeling a little bit ambivalent towards their performance. That’s not to say I wouldn’t see them again; after all, Snakecharmer as a unit are bona fide rock royalty.
01. Sounds Like A Plan
02. That Kind of Love
03. Are You Ready To Fly
04. Follow Me Under
05. I’ll Take You As You Are
06. Hell Of A Way To Live
07. Fade Away
08. Dress It Up
09. Punching Above My Weight
10. Forgive And Forget
11. Where Do We Go From Here
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Vikkie “Queen of Rock” Richmond and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to do adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities