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Snew - "Snew You" (CD)

Snew - "Snew You" CD cover image

"Snew You" track listing:

1. Stand Up High (3:48)
2. Got Love (4:16)
3. Snew You (3:11)
4. She's A Real Gunslinger (4:07)
5. Kick Me Over (3:55)
6. Head Trauma (4:43)
7. Electric Is The Law (3:45)
8. Get It To go (3:41)
9. Vibrator (4:33)
10. Heavy Water (4:13)

Reviewed by on February 11, 2009

"The overall feel of 'Snew You' is upbeat, with a solid classic hard rock sound that gets blended with touches of blues and punk."

You won’t find “snew” in the dictionary, but the term is fast becoming a word synonymous with “Take that, big record labels.” This California-based hard rock band is unapologetic in their disdain for mainstream media, and with the release of their first album, appropriately titled “Snew You,” and their recently launched Snew World Order, they may just be trying to take over the world.

Snew is led by vocalist Curtis Don Vito, a classic long haired, screaming singer whose style is a throwback to AC/DC and Jackyl. Don’t confuse his wails with screamo, for Snew’s sound is much more classic in nature, and takes listeners back to a time when music was all about being loud and well-amped. Guitarist Andy Lux and bassist Cat Tate are masters of the grinding southern rock style, and Lux displays some definite shred talent on “Heavy Water” and “Electric Is The Law.” Drummer Mark Ohrenberger is noteworthy in his own rite, with an impressive medley on “Kick Me Over.”

The overall feel of “Snew You” is upbeat, with a solid classic hard rock sound that gets blended with touches of blues and punk. The title track in particular, features a punk tempo and style, with heavily distorted vocals. Blues enthusiasts should check out the guitar riffs in “Vibrator,” a song that you might expect to be a crude tongue in cheek track, but actually ends up being smart and soulful, as well as arguably the best track on the album, “Head Trauma.” The combination of slow grinding southern rock and blues adds a nice touch to “Head Trauma,” but the scream vocals keep it from being melodramatic.

Fans of glam metal and music with a sense of excess should like “Stand Up High,” “She’s A Real Gunslinger,” and “Get It To Go,” which features short, choppy riffs and a guitar that spirals as it shreds its way to the ending. Surprisingly, the tune “Got Love,” for which the band released a controversial music video featuring models from the Camwithher website, is probably the least showy and dramatic track on the album. It features short, repetitive guitar riffs, and vocals reminiscent of AC/DC.

Though Snew eschews the idea of being radio friendly, their music is much more mainstream than today’s version of heavy metal. There is no angry death metal or even bombastic power metal to be found on “Snew You.” It’s simply a compilation of melodic hard rock music that’s edgy enough to tempt listeners to bang their heads.

Still, their style is bold enough that mainstream media probably won’t welcome them with open arms, even if Snew would lower themselves to accept a big label offer. The band’s commitment to doing things their own way makes one wonder if they, like Jackyl, may end up putting on their own impromptu show in a Kmart parking lot near you.

Highs: Bluesy southern rock interwoven throughout, but especially featured in “Head Trauma.”

Lows: No glaring moments, though at times the scream vocals are hard to understand.

Bottom line: An upbeat, in your face hard rock album.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)