Here's a band for ya! Long before David Coverdale and his pretty boy hired henchmen dominated the screens of MTV, Whitesnake was an entirely different animal when first formed in 1978 playing soulful rocking blues and being a major success on the European scene scoring five Top Ten albums, long before the Love Hunter changed the entire band and headed off across the pond in search of gold.
Although coming and going at different intervals, two regular and much loved faces of the early days were bluesy slide guitarist Micky Moody and well travelled bassist Neil Murray and now the pair are ready and willing to join forces yet again in a band that will impress many with a album full of mature well crafted songs that only blend the sound of early Whitesnake but also has it's own identity that will also please lovers of Bad Company, Free and even Foreigner.
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That's not to say this is just simply Moody and Murray's band as Snakecharmer is a supergroup of sorts featuring drummer Harry H James, Laurie Wisefield (Guitar), Adam Wakeman (Keyboards) and the highly underrated vocalist Chris Ousey.
They have collectively played with Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, Thunder, Magnum, Sabbath, Ozzy, Tina Turner, MSG, Heartland, Gary Moore, Brian May, not forgetting being a part of the We Will Rock You house band.
All the members of Snakecharmer have collectively written and produced this album that will surely dominate the writers Top 20 playlist come the end of the year. It's that good.
This album has a feel good factor about it and it's hard to pinpoint the stand out track because each song scores high on it's own merits.
Opening with an acoustic intro, 'My Angel' soon kicks in and rocks and Ousey's rich soulful voice grabs you immediately whilst the interplay between Moody and Wisefield is a pure joy to listen to and their style is much missed in the current rock scene.
Current single 'Accident Prone' packs some clout whilst 'To The Rescue' is a jolly ride. 'Falling Leaves' is a beautiful piece of dreamy music featuring some shipshape Hammond work from Wakeman. 'Turn Of The Screw' has an up-tempo hip swinging jive to it while 'Smoking Gun' is a cool rocker as is 'A Little Rock 'N Roll'.
'Stand Up' is reminiscent of 80s British melodic rock and 'Guilty As Charged' has neat hooks. 'Nothing To Lose' is a bluesy delight whilst closer 'Cover Me In You' is the closest it gets to sexual innuendo.
The only problem Snakecharmer will face with this album is deciding which tracks to include in the live set. Reportedly the band will be doing a 50/50 set of Snakecharmer/Whitesnake songs with even a Thunder and Wishbone Ash track each thrown in for good measure but quite frankly Snakecharmer could easily sink their fangs into these great venomous songs and confine their former band into hisssstory.
With one foot in the past and one foot in the present Snakecharmer will divide opinion amongst Whitesnake fans but one thing is for sure - after hearing this album they will all be fans of Snakecharmer.
Snakecharmer play an album launch gig at Islington Assembly Hall, London on Saturday 23rd February.
Click on the Soundcloud link below to hear an extensive interview by Mark Taylor with Snakecharmer's Micky Moody and Neil Murray as they delve deep into the making of the album and their fellow band members, plus what life was like in Whitesnake with David Coverdale, plus hear their sentimental memories on both Jon Lord and Cozy Powell.
You can see MetalTalk.net's Mark Taylor's many reviews and interviews right here. It's an impressive list...