BABY SNAKES (Wig Wam) – Gunslingers (2013)
After Norwegian glammy melodic hard rock wonders Wig Wam dissolved last year, guitarist Trond Holter (known from his work with Jorn and Dream Police as well) bassist Bernt Jansen decided to form a more straight hard rock new band: BABY SNAKES.
They have ready their debut “Gunslingers”, described by the guys as ‘cowboy metal’.
Truth to be said, “Gunslingers” has nothing to do with cowboy’s banjos or fiddle, but just with kicking guitar riffs and a strong rhythm section. This is American inspired bluesy hard rock with lots of melody and hooks.
Musically, a quick comparison would be Great White or some Tesla, but the style & sound from Baby Snakes has that distinct European scent as well. Scandinavian, to be more precise.
Holter gets loose on the six-strings throughout with some classy, clean Les Paul riffs and sustained hot melodious solos, while Jansen and drummer Magnus Galguften provide a monolithic but bouncy foundation.
Of course they are not alone, as shouter Christian Klykken (ex- Podium) – sometimes reminding me Peter Sandberg – is one of a hell vocalist. He owns a bluesy touch in his register which fits this style so well.
We have really good guitar-driven hard rockers in “Diagnosis Nymphomania” (somehow bringing to mind Y&T), title track “Gunslinger”, the melting “Juicy Lucy” (love the riff!), the broken and kick ass “Blow My Mind”, and the more modern “Judgement Day”, all packed with catchy choruses.
Just check the latter (video below) and tell me if the chorus lines aren’t typical Wig Wam. This is a clear example of the ‘Scandi touch’ I mentioned earlier.
This is even accentuated in the hit here; “Give You My Love” the only (but great) melodic hard rocker on the CD and one of the highlights.
There’s a groove monster on “In And Out” and the Lynch Mob-like “Deadman City”, then a little southern feel in the quite good “Moonshine Time” and the acoustic “Nobody’s Son”, perhaps the closest thing to ‘cowboy’ here.
For the end, Baby Snakes reserved an instrumental, the groovy, darker and Eastern sounding “Trollsang”, fuelled by killer razor rhythm guitars, blasting drums and meaty soloing.
“Gunslingers” is a fooking good, dynamic guitar-driven Hard Rock debut from Trond Holter’s new venture Baby Snakes. Packed with groovy, sometimes catchy, effective songs around the three and a half minute mark, this album is really fun and enjoyable.
Punchy tunes with lots of guitar and melodic vocals / choruses, but as usual on all Trond Holter bands everything is extremely polished, and I like it a lot this way. Don’t expect a sweaty, dirty hard rock sound on “Gunslingers”, all is potent but crystal clear thanks to a pristine production.
01 – Diagnosis Nymphomania
02 – Give You My Love
03 – In And Out
04 – Moonshine Time
05 – Gunslinger
06 – Judgement Day
07 – Deadman City
08 – Nobody’s Son
09 – Juicy Lucy
10 – Blow My Mind
11 – Trollsang
Christian Klykken – vocals, guitar
Trond Holter – guitar
Bernt Jansen – bass
Magnus Galguften – drums
BUY IT ! (a.t.m. only available on CD in Scandinavia)