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SNEW Snew You (2008)

SNEW (the worst band name in the world, Ever?) are a four piece rocking band from California and 'Snew You' is their debut album. They (rather presumptiously) compare themselves to Led Zeppelin - I think a better touchstone would be a hybrid of Brian Johnson era AC/DC and Ronnie James Dio era Rainbow with a sprinkling of MC5 and The Ramones thrown in.

So, retro-rock then. But don't knock it. - this is good stuff. OK so some of the riffs are a bit clicheed, and vocalist Curtis Don Vito (yes, really) needs to curb his excesses a little, but this is in-your-face rock from beginning to end, the sort of stuff you thought no-one was doing anymore.

There are ten tracks here of which only two have your thumb hovering over the skip key. The opener 'Stand Up High' is classic hard rock at its best and the follow-up 'Got Love' is AC/DC's 'Problem Child' - only on acid!

And talking of AC/DC (as everyone is at the moment) track seven 'Head Trauma' is a real throwback to 'The Jack' with a great bluesy staccato riff, smart lyrics and great backing vocals. 'Vibrator' is not as coarse as it sounds and yields some great guitar from Andy Lux - who, from the look of him on the sleeve has a bit of a Slash fixation going on.

The band are fiercely independent, eschewing major company deals and relying on their growing fanbase for support. This gives them complete control over their output and it certainly pays dividends here - no major would touch this with a bargepole, thinking everyone who likes this sort of stuff is either dead or deaf by now. Well we're not - we're still rocking and looking for new material like this.

I imagine they're a real blast live, and if they could afford a top producer for their next album who could curb the aforementioned excesses without losing the raw power of the band, a bright future beckons. Shame about the name though.


Review by Alan Jones

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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