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Snakeryder - ST

Z Records

Rating - 7.5/10

Review - Steve Cummings

Jesus, I think H.G Wells just picked me in a De Lorean and via the complexities of the space time continuum dropped be back to 1988. New Jersey band Snakeryder have just produced the most authentic sounding 80's rock album I have heard in a long long time. Think of any well loved band of that era, Cinderella, Y&T,  Firehouse, Black 'N' Blue etc and somewhere along the line Snakeryder have incorporated their influences into this album.

Opening with 'Shake For A Shake' which could quite easily have appeared on the Cinderella Night Songs debut, the album gets off to a rocking start. Simple fat guitar riffs and a raspy vocal delivery lead into a chorus that back in the day would have had the masses headbanging on dance floors from Newcastle to New Jersey and back again.. Second track 'Got No Time For Romance' is even better with driving bass line topped off with an AC/DC guitar riff leading into the best chorus on the album.  Just imagine guys with tight jeans tucked into cowboy boots, girls with thigh high stilettos and you get the picture.

Next in line is 'Love it Bites', more of a mid-tempo number with echoes of Little Caesar and The Cult. The song is again built around a simple bass line and incorporates some big chorus harmonies. What 80's rock album would have been complete with the acoustic ballad? Snakeryder  is no different and with Don't Want To Let You Go' the band have a song that 15  years ago with heavy MTV rotation would have been a surefire hit. Not my favourite, but hey get the lighters out, sway from side to side and think of Tawny Kitaen splashed over the bonnet of a Jag XJS...

'There's A Price You Have To Pay' raises the tempo once again and yet another fine chorus ensues, all big harmonies and cliched lyrics delivered with aplomb. 'The USA' starts off a la Crue's 'Don't Go Away Mad' with before turning into a psuedo political rocker. Yet another good chorus manages to lift this song out of the mediocre bracket and the guitar solo ain't bad either with alternate tracks panned hard left and right in the stereo spectrum.

'Road To Ruin' & 'Long Way Home' follow the well worn path of the previous songs, both mid-tempo numbers, but somehow not quite as catchy as earlier songs. 'Stick To Your Guns' is a title used many times in the past, however Snakeryder have produced an a song that is more of a fast paced number than say the Bon Jovi song of the same name. The vocals are delivered at a fast pace throughout, which makes the melody, especially in the chorus less apparent than it may otherwise have been.

The final track on offer is 'Danger Zone'. uses yet another well worn title, however this song finishes the album is truly fine style. A frenetic opening guitar riff gives way to a more subtle verse that is reminiscent of Vinnie Vincent Invasion. Another big chorus with multi harmony vocals sets the number off and certainly helps it attain the privilege of being one of the best songs on the album.

I freely admit that I am, and always was, a sucker for this style of music. For an album with its roots so firmly stuck in the past there was always the possibility that this record may have sounded lame and dated. Luckily with songs as strong as 'Got No Time For Romance' and 'Danger Zone', Snakeryder have produced an album that, if not the greatest piece of art ever committed to tape, is, at the very least, a highly enjoyable album and deserving of a listen or ten.