Snew - 'What's It To Ya' (Maman Music) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Monday, 17 December 2012 04:00

snewwhatsittoyaThis album has been around me for some time, its familiarity such that I almost forgot that it was a new album meant for review.

Released at the tail end of the Summer, 'What's It To Ya' is the third album from Snew, following on from the band's 2008 debut, 'Snew You', and its follow-up, 'We Do What We Want', which arrived a couple of years later. Keeping with that whole every-other-year release cycle, this new album offers little new in the world of Snew but, if you're already familiar with the band, you'll realise that that doesn't matter in the slightest.


'Release The Beast' - what a great title for an album opener! - powers out of the stereo and into the auditory canal in a blur of bass, screams and timeless barroom boogie. There are a couple of heavyweights behind the knob-twiddling of this album - Bobby Owsinski (Elvis, Hendrix, Neil Young) producing, Ken Scott (The Beatles, Bowie, Supertramp) in charge of the mix - and they have captured Snew's retrofied, classic rock sound perfectly.


It's that sound, walking a well-worn path to AC/DCville, that blesses and curses Snew in equal measure: doubters will just point out that they've heard it all before, and they'd probably be right, but the music fans with a modicum of fun still left in their battered, excitement-ravaged bodies will find plenty here to slap a hefty, riff-happy smile across their faces.


'I Got My Rocket' almost perfects that 'DC/Airbourne double entendre lyrical fornication, before the record's lead track, 'Pull My Stinger', steals its glory as the album's money shot - just under four minutes of grin-inducing rock 'n' roll quality that invokes the spirit of Tom Keifer's troubled vocal chords.


Frontman Curtis Don Vito comes into his own on 'Electrolux', the band almost calming things down into a Quireboys-like rock 'n' roll hipshaker on 'Clever Girl', before 'Unglued' struts on and takes the acclaim as the album's killer kut: a big, fat Seventies riff that is equal parts classic Aerosmith/Cheap Trick holding court majestically over its nine other recorded bruthas and sistas.


It might come as a bit of a surprise to some to acknowledge that Don Vito and band (joined for album number three by former Black Sheep frontman Willie Basse on...errr....bass) sound at their best on a slower number, but it's true - 'Bad Words' might not win any awards for originality, but it presses every button and impresses in a way that you might not think possible. The album's title track - opening in subtle fashion before breaking out into a mash-up of '70s glam stomp and buzzsaw boogie - almost closes the show, but there's still time for Snew to get 'All Over You', in a sweaty mess of harmonica, three chords and the timeless strains of classic hard rock.


Sure, Snew offer little new in the grand scheme of rock 'n' roll things, but little does it matter. Something borrowed, something blues, etc, etc. With the news that Rhino Bucket are to tour an album from over two decades ago, an album mainly remembered as being by a cool bunch of AC/DC copycats, playing it in its entirety, then all you need worry about when it comes to Snew is how to get a hold of this album and how you can find the time to get down and get with it. This is good time hard rock, sleazing and pleasing, that I bet is the soundtrack to a fucking fun night out.


To visit the Snew store on Amazon - CLICK HERE