Snakecharmer - 'Snakercharmer' CD Review (Frontiers Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Snakecharmer - 'Snakercharmer' CD Review (Frontiers Records)

Snakecharmer - 'Snakercharmer' CD Review (Frontiers Records)
Newcomers, UK rock band Snakecharmer is a super-group comprised of long-time veterans from some very successful British blues/hard-rock band and the band’s self-titled debut album comes out on Frontiers Records on Feb. 5th. The band plays bluesy, guitar-driven arena rock so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the band was brought together by original Whitesnake members Micky Moody (guitar) and Neil Murray (bass). Other members of the band include Adam Wakeman (Ozzy/Black Sabbath) on keyboards, Laurie Wisefield (x-Wishbone Ash) on guitar, Harry James (x-Thunder, Magnum) on drums and Chris Ousey (x-Virginia Wolf, Heartland). Similar to Moody and Murray’s previous project, Company of Snake, this new band is closer in sound to Bad Company than Whitesnake but you can hear elements of the ‘snake and even early Foreigner in some of the songs.

I met up with Neil Murray a couple of years ago and we spoke about playing a few gigs together for fun and old times' sake," says Micky Moody. "The obvious choice was early Whitesnake material, so when Neil suggested Laurie Wisefield and Harry James, I jumped at it. Chris Ousey was highly recommended and Adam had depped for Company of Snakes some years back. We went out as Monsters of British Rock mostly performing the songs of early Whitesnake, Thunder Heartlands and a Laurie Wisefield original and we caught the attention of Martin Darvill, head of QEDG Management, who suggested we record an album of original material, which we did. The result is Snakecharmer on the Frontiers label."

The disc kicks off with “My Angel” – which clearly takes a page out of the Whitesnake songbook and starts with Chris Ousey singing backed by an acoustic guitar. The rest of the band doesn’t join in until about a minute later to kick the song into high gear, with one of the two guitarists laying down some chunky guitar riffs. Right as the song hits full throttle, the band seamlessly breaks away for a short keyboard and acoustic guitar(s) interlude but Micky Moody joins in to pick up the pace with some killer slide guitar riffs. This song is a good indication of the sound of the rest of the disc as most of the other songs are variations around a similar guitar-driven, hard-rock core.

“To The Rescue”, “A Little Rock and Roll” and “Turn of the Screw” are all bluesy rockers in the style of Bad Company and any of these songs could be a big hit on classic rock radio. “Stand Up” and “Guilty as Charged” showcase Adam Wakeman’s keyboards alongside the duo guitar attack and sound similar to early Foreigner. “Fallen Leaves” is a welcome throwback to when rock ballads still had teeth (maybe Bon Jovi or Poison could learn something from this disc) and the remainder of the tracks are melodic hard rockers.

This disc will have an immediate appeal to fans of Whitesnake and Rainbow. Snakecharmer will also strike a familiar chord with anyone who went to an arena rock show in the 70’s or 80’s as these are the types of songs that you can sing along to after one or two listens and there isn’t bad track on the disc.

Shakecharmer made their live debut just over a year ago as special guests of Uriah Heep. The band played a small number of high-profile festivals over the course of 2012 and more dates are supposed to follow later this year.