Released October 11, 2013 (Trondercore Records)
01. Diagnosis Nymphomania
02. Give You My Love
03. In And Out
04. Moonshine Time
06. Judgement Day
07. Deadman City
08. Nobody’s Son
09. Juicy Lucy
10. Blow My Mind
Christian Klykken – vocals
Trond Holter – guitars
Bernt Jansen – bass
Magnus Galguften – drums
Produced, mixed and mastered by Trond Holter.
Every so often, when boredom overtakes me, I’ll head over to the Sleaze Roxx FaceBook page and interact with fellow lovers of all things hard rock. During one of those moments a band by the name of Baby Snakes was mentioned — and whoever recommended I check out this new Norwegian band is owed several drinks.
The Baby Snakes, featuring a couple of Wig Wam members, prove to be something special as their debut album Gunslingers takes so many twists and turns it could leave the listener dizzy. The opener, “Diagnosis Nymphomania”, starts off with an intro reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen, yet there is a slick and memorable hard rocker unleashed shortly after and not just guitar wankery. “Give You My Love” is a little darker but contains the type of chorus Def Leppard wish they could still write while “Moonshine Time” is a swampy country influenced song with ample amounts of swagger that pushes the boundaries of the melodic rock genre. The crunchiness of the title track originally left me cold, until I eventually started hearing elements of the underrated War Babies scattered throughout.
The second half of Gunslingers really showcases the strengths of the Baby Snakes. “Judgement Day” is as slick and memorable as Crazy Lixx‘s best material and “Deadman City” is possibly the best mix of new metal and classic ’80s rock that I’ve heard to date — the chorus is flawless. “Nobody’s Son” has the Western outlaw feel of Jon Bon Jovi‘s “Blaze Of Glory”, but drifts deeper into ballad territory while becoming the album’s weakest link. All is forgotten by the time “Juicy Lucy” starts thumping out of the stereo speakers — can anyone say Sleeze Beez? “Blow My Mind” is another picture perfect display of harmonies before the instrumental “Trollsong” wraps things up with musicianship not always found on albums that venture into sleaze territory.
In a day and age where every dreamer with a guitar and a laptop thinks they can be the next ‘big thing’, it is refreshing to hear a band that actually has the talent to potentially make their mark in an increasingly crowded scene. The Baby Snakes are definitely hard rockers with a great sense of melody, yet it is their variety throughout Gunslingers that make them worth keeping your eye on. Just when you think you have Baby Snakes figured out they switch gears — it makes for an entertaining listen and was well worth purchasing.
www.facebook.com/babysnakesofficial – www.facebook.com/trondercore
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, February 2014