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Snakecharmer: Second Skin

It's taken them four years, but UK hard rockers Snakecharmer are finally back with their sophomore album for Frontiers Records, titled, appropriately Second Skin. Founding guitarist Mickey Moody left the band roughly a year ago, so he's obviously the 'skin' that's been shed, and in his place comes Irish guitar wizard Simon McBride (ex-Sweet Savage), joining the returning members, vocalist Chris Ousey (Heartland), bassist Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Gary Moore, Brian May), guitarist Laurie Wisefield (ex-Wishbone Ash, Home), keyboard player Adam Wakeman (Black Sabbath), and drummer Harry James (Thunder, Magnum).

Second Skin is comprised of 11 new songs that see Snakecharmer again dip into '70s and '80s styled bluesy hard rock, with elements of Whitesnake (naturally), Deep Purple, and Bad Company popping up all over the place. Ousey has a tremendous voice, with his Paul Rodgers influenced soulful pipes permeating crisp rockers like "Follow Me Under", "Are You Ready to Fly", and "Sounds Like a Plan" and adding an instantly alluring quality. Wakeman contributes plenty of keyboard tones, especially some searing Hammond organ, which smolders on the rootsy hard rocker "I'll Take You As You Are" right there alongside Ousey's potent vocal. The dueling guitars of McBride & Wisefield get hot 'n' nasty on the raunchy "Hell of a Way to Live", and the Deep Purple influenced "Dress It Up" harkens back to the Mark III line-up and delivers a powerful guitar & Hammond punch complete with funky grooves and soaring vocals. Want some blues? Snakecharmer delivers some smoky blues on the moody "Forgive & Forget", Wakeman's honky tonk piano & organ swirling around gritty guitar licks and locked in rhythms while Ousey sings his ass off. The epic sounding "Where Do We Go From Here" is another highlight, a majestic Zeppelin influenced rocker with fantastic keyboard layers from Wakeman and sizzling lead guitar, Ousey also putting in another eye popping vocal performance that just might be his best on the album.

Ultimately, Second Skin delivers just what you'd expect from this supergroup, memorable, catchy songs, expert musicianship, and outstanding vocals. If you can't get enough classic rock sounds that scratch that itch for the '70s and '80s, Snakecharmer have the album for you.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
1 - Sounds Like A Plan
2 - That Kind Of Love
3 - Are You Ready To Fly
4 - Follow Me Under
5 - I'll Take You As You Are
6 - Hell Of A Way To Live
7 - Fade Away
8 - Dress It Up
9 - Punching Above My Weight
10 - Forgive & Forget
11 - Where Do We Go From Here

Added: May 14th 2017
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1616
Language: english

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