Snakecharmer - Second Skin

Snakecharmer Second Skin cover
Snakecharmer
Second Skin
Frontiers Music Srl
2017
7
Snakecharmer is an offshoot band featuring some fine UK talent, including former Whitesnake members Micky Moody and Neil Murray but also caliber musicians like Laurie Wisefield, Harry James, Adam Wakeman and Chris Ousey, all having earned their stripes in bands like Wishbone Ash, Black Sabbath, Ozzy Osbourne, Gary Moore, Magnum, Thunder, MSG, Brian May Band and Heartland (albeit mostly as session musicians in most cases).
 
Frontiers trusted these gentlemen to deliver an album a while ago, which they did and it was quite “expectedly” very “Snake” in style … “Second Skin” seems able to shed some of the comparisons, aside, by coming more into it’s own, eventhough the Whitesnake, Mr Big and Bad Company comparisons and influences are quite evident.
 
Chris Ousey who cut his teeth with Virginia Wolf and later went on to be with Heartland sounds a lot more at ease on this one, which makes his performances better, although, I ‘d have liked him a bit more upfront in the mix of things.
 
“Sounds like a Plan” starts like anything Moody/Murray have ever been, but quite brazenly rips off AC/DC’s “Big Gun’s” riff, which is a little thorny… but it’s a nice tune, beside that glaringly obvious “loan”.
 
“That Kind of Loving” is a thumpy mid-tempo, with a nice smooth groove…
 
“Are You Ready to Fly” seems to have the same nice swagger – like some early on bluesy-Snake, which is not bad at all, but the chorus seem a little plain...
 
“Follow Me Under” opens unassumingly and rocks n roll’s quite hard… half convincingly…
 
“I’ll Take You As You Are” feels like someone cloned a Mr. Big ballad and had a Whitesnake cover band perform it… ehm... oops quite close, I guess…
 
“Hell of a Way to Live” is quite interesting, since it sounds a lot heavier and more mean… a bit more like Thunder at their most rocking, which makes it “interesting” I guess, if not anything else…
 
“Fade Away” has this lazy opening that never really goes away as it develops into a slow, and smoothly longing bluesy number that would not feel out of place in a Deep Purple album in which the Covernor was a part of … maybe “Come an Taste The Band”?
 
“Dress It Up” is an up-tempo, shouty rock n roller that really picks up the pace with it’s nice vibe and a necessary kick in the posterior to get the album towards it’s end…
 
“Punching above My Weight” is an acoustic number that gets some electricity along the way that feels very Eric Martic-esque, in a good way…
 
“Forgive & Forget” starts complete with Hammond rolls, a charming blues rock track that could have easily been written in the 80s but sounds very “in the now” because of its super-loud and clear production.
 
Lastly, the semi-autobiographic “Where Do We Go From Here”... offers a final release, after some two minutes of building up, rocking up in an unapologetic way till it’s smooth conclusion.
 
A bit more varied than the debut and with a bit more certain footing, Snakecharmer’s “Second Skin” is not an insta-classic, but a quite enjoyable rock affair, nonetheless.