This album landed on my doormat recently along with a few other albums I was expecting, quite unannounced. On seeing the cover featuring a devil-woman, skulls and snake, for some reason I thought “Oh NO, not another Pop-Punk album for review”. I stuck it on and started reading the blurb however and to my pleasant surprise, there’s not an ounce of Pop-Punk in sight!
SNAKEWATER in fact play some damn fine blues-heavy rock. They are a British band but they’re music is coming straight from those famous muddy waters over the pond. If I tell you that the first two tracks on latest album ‘A New Breed’ are called ‘Down in Louisiana’ and indeed ‘Muddy Water’ then you should be able to gauge where this three-piece is coming from.
The band’s sound is much bigger than you would expect from a three-piece. It’s a big, busy, twiddling and hook filled sound that has a timeless quality. There’s plenty of the classic blues influence oozing through on all the tracks on offer here. From the originators like Robert Johnson, through the first white blues bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, all the way to the classic rock giants of Led Zeppelin, SNAKEWATER translate the music through their own instruments effortlessly.
‘A New Breed’ is far from ground-breaking and I dare say that it was never supposed to be. It is however a glorious take on blues and rock and roll, and quite an achievement to cook up this warm and stirring music from grey old Manchester.
The soaring lead guitar is a joy to follow through the album with plenty of frenzied and jaunty solos complimented with more controlled and precise riffs which provide the backbone to the album. The vocals have a raw snarl to them which suit the music down to the ground. Both vocals and guitar are incredibly carried out by the same man, Bobby Grant. That’s not too say the rest of the band don’t pull their weight though. There are some great lengthy jams, where Snakewater make some truly wonderful noise, scattered through the CD, demonstrating the band’s all round talent. ‘Going Down’ by Freddie King is slowed down and subjected to such a jam at the back end of the album with great effect.
For a relatively new band (formed in 2009) with all members under the age of 25, this is a remarkable album. On listening you would think they were old timers double they’re age. I mean this in a good way…they sound like the complete package already. This is the soundtrack to good times and liquor induced merriment.
A New Breed is out now!
For fans of Lynyrd Skynryd, Black Stone Cherry, Jimi Hendrix