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Snakecharmer - 'Second Skin' http://www.rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/48/63/1d/snakecharmer-second-skin-56-1502657610.jpg Hot

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Pure, raw and Bluesy Hard Rock ... just as it should be!

Certain genres of music date quickly – Punk, Disco, Grunge, etc. – all the rage one minute then discarded like yesterday's socks the next. However, there are others that endure, pushing through generational boundaries and leaving an indelible mark that, like faded denim, will always be cool. Bluesy Hard Rock may seem like some colloquial relic of Empire, but it remains as fresh and vibrant as it did back when the likes of Free first blazed a trail across the firmament.

Need proof? Just check out 'Second Skin', the sophomore offering from Snakecharmer. Not to be confused with the similarly handled Swedish mob who released a brace of albums in the nineties, this Snakecharmer come from the cream of UK Hard Rock aristocracy. Put together by former Whitesnake alumni Micky Moody and Neil Murray, the original line-up was completed by Wishbone Ash guitar legend Laurie Wisefield, journeyman drummer Harry James, vocal powerhouse Chris Ousey (Virginia Wolf, Heartland) and second generation keyboard royalty Adam Wakeman.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Their self-titled debut (released early 2013) was a smouldering slab of late seventies Bad Company meets Whitesnake splendour, bristling with finely crafted songs drenched in raw emotion, as timeless a shot of antsy melodrama as those it echoed from thirty-five years previously. Moody called time on his tenure with the band last year, but far from folding they picked themselves up, recruited Irish guitarist Simon McBride and have just unveiled an album that's better in almost every respect than its predecessor. Better songs, better sound, even more emotion... yes, all this and more can be found within the digital grooves of '...Skin'!

Always a great vocalist, Ousey has really outdone himself on this release, wringing every last drop of feeling from a stellar performance – check out the smouldering 'Fade Away' ('Empty Rooms' meets 'Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City') and judge for yourself. This album is more than that though, it's the team performance that really carries the day, imbuing each song with a believable integrity that's rare these days. Apart from the punchy 'Dress It Up' and opener 'Sounds Like A Plan', most of the album is mean an' moody, but anyone who wants to argue with class acts like 'That Kind Of Love', 'Follow Me Under' or 'I'll Take You As You Are' seriously needs to seek medical advice.

'Second Skin' is pure, raw and Bluesy Hard Rock ... just as it should be!

Dave Cockett

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