Down and Outlaws – Above Snakes (Album Review)

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down and outlaws drummerRecorded in a marathon one-week session at Studio 606, Above Snakes finds San Francisco’s Down and Outlaws lighting a fire for raw rock and roll.

As Above Snakes (an old west term meaning “still alive“) suggests, the band believes in music that’s fresh, yet raw and real.  The album is the sort of rock record that was made in the ’60s or ’70s.  There is an air of the Doors, mixed with gritty Black Crowes and a pinch of the Cult.

The album comes spitting out the speakers and blasts around your ears with a solidity and a truly authentic passion that is absolutely infectious.  The four piece show their hand early with the fine opener “Roll The Stone” with its trippy heavy vibe and great growling vocals, like the wounded bear of Jim Morrison around LA Woman.  Staggering from this early bar brawl, “I Don’t Care (I Don’t Care)” then smacks you in the mouth with its punk-like intention.  The swagger is incredible, with the guitars howling and the gang vocals making out like an AC/DC choir.  It has the feel of some bluesy bruisers like Circus Of Power.

The band beat up most of the record with thick punches of power coming thick and fast.  “Fever” has an early G’NR feel and “Way She Rolls” feels like something that the Stone Roses woulddown_outlaws_live have recorded if they had been American…A weird mashup that works beautifully.

Don’t Call My Name” gets down and swampy with its slide guitar, before grooving into Doors-like territory with some Hammond organ orchestration and finishing with a split down a back alley with G’NR.

Overall, this is a fantastic rock album with great production and attitude so strong it will strike you down at twenty paces.  I loved the whole look and feel of the collection and look forward to future Down and Outlaws releases with keen anticipation.

Buy: Down and Outlaws – Above Snakes

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