|On their sophomore release the Californians seem to have saved no money at all, investing in a superprofessional album under each and every aspect. From the digipack to the renowned recording studio with the audio guide guru Bobby Owsinski in the producer's chair and Grammy winner Ed Cherney (best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton) on engineering and mixing duties, to a cool promotional videoclip, and to end with a capillary digital distribution and promotion!
Curtis Don Vito, like most Italo-Americans, knows all of the tricks in the music biz and he's definitely making a top-notch work, and as if it weren't enough he's also a powerful and eclectic vocalist: you won't be surprised in learning he often sings close to Bon Scott (thanks to booze or mother nature?) since Snew play Hard Sleazy rock, but you will when I inform you that he also reminds of other Metal singers on different moments of the record (U.D.O., Accept, Overkill, Raven as well as the first screamers from Exodus and Anthrax!). A real bad-ass behind the mike!
Needless to say their music is most of the time energetic, party-like and limit-free, so you get the picture when it's better played on.
A big fat guy's slap in the face is the effect caused by the title-track, sustained on pretty powerful sounds over the rhythm section, while the remaining ones aren't too clean but they're raw at the right level; this track mixes the 70s AC/DC together with Backyard Babies and it's also completed by a showy tough clip (not available on the CD).
No time to breath and here comes the involving refrain of "Feedback and Distorsion" (what a phenomenal title by the way); the piercing guitar solo stands out as well and the D.A.D.-influenced bridge, too.
"Private Stash" melts Led Zeppelin with Aerosmith's "Ragdoll" lines, and it's another hit embellished by a harmonica (mouth-organ for our British readers) solo, followed by an axe solo; as to the lyrics, they could be seen as a poem that every sleazy girl would love to hear to be turned on, so all the more reason the 4-piece deserves two thumbs up.
A bit Kissian, "Risking My Life" is nevertheless different from Paul Stanley's vocals, as Don Vito's are 100 times sharper and more unbecoming, whereas in "Get Loud" he sings as if they were wringing a hen's neck; once again we are led to think of the vintage AC/DC along with a veil of Ramones and Slade, yet tighter and heavier.
"Knock It out of The Park" is the most original song of the batch, with one foot on the Hard rock territory and another on the Heavy metal one.
With "Power Pack" the step advances sneakily between Deep Purple, Kiss and Love/Hate, delivering another killer guitar solo, while "Pick up The Ball" recurs to an acoustic intro, veering to a hot mid-tempo; while the refrain is more modern than the others, being in the vein of Foo Fighters, the end of the song reserves a blow with a Metal paw.
The excellent arranging is probably the first thing you'll notice in "Who The Hell Are You", a track reminding of Wolfsbane as to the vocals, however the riffs are bluesy and the finale pours gas onto fire like nobody's business. Very precious is the drumwork as well during the whole composition.
The closing "Shinebox" joins Hard rock, Rock 'n' Roll and Punk and confirms what good they did before.
The quartet may seem not original from my description, but I need to underline it just deals with references useful to our readers and no plagiarisms. Secondly, should you still have some doubts about the quality of the four members, let me submit to you that in 2009 they were called to team up with legendary improvisional guitarist and music instrument customizer Allan Holdsworth for a rendition of Deep Purple's classic "Highway Star", a gem that gets uncounted and continuous downloads across legal portals like iTunes and bootleg spots such as Bit Torrent.
We can't say AC/DC are releasing legendary albums like in the past; it's physiological to be satisfied and tired after all these intense years of touring and recording, so sometimes a new record cannot be as good as the previous already entered the Hard rock encyclopaedias with merit.
On the contrary, we can state Snew are young, talented and hungry, and that's why "We Do What We Want" contains no fillers and no boring seconds at all, so play it loud and don't forget to accompany it with your favourite alcoholic drink!
|MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - May 20th, 2010|
Line-up on this record:
Curtis Don Vito - v., harmonica
Mark Ohrenberger - drums
Cat Tate - bass
Andy Lux - guitars
Snew store, 1146 North Central Ave. # 414, Glendale, CA 91202 - 2506 - USA
-Snew You (CD - 2008)
-We Do What We Want (CD - 2010)