Sleaze Rock... The genre that represents excess and debauchery. For me, it can either be really good or really bad. Yet, I do try to listen to anything I can, in the world of rock, and this band crossed my radar pretty recently. Australian sleaze rockers, Snake Bite Whisky are quickly making a name for themselves, mixing punk with hair-metal to crease their own signature style and It's pretty damn fun to listen to. Their new record This Side of Hell is an exciting and energised record, sounding like that good old-fashioned hair rock from the late-80's and early-90's. Recorded at Sonic Clarity Studios in Australia with mixing and mastering completed in the US by Peter Rutcho, who has worked with artists such as Falling In Reverse, Parkway Drive, Deez Nuts, etc. So at the very least, you're getting an album with high-quality production value.
From the very first moments of the album, I was excited to keep listening. Really from the personality alone, it's a pretty intense listen. Lots of sharp and crisp guitar parts with fast and loose drum work the album wastes very little time getting down to brass tax. The jowly and rough-cut vocals just adds a good layer of rock 'n' roll charm to the songs. From the album alone you can just imagine what a live show would be like. Rawkuss and fun. There is that free-flow feeling to the album, like the band is making up the songs on the spot, but the precision timing of the songs let you know that so much care has gone in to record them. This is music for those late nights out, you that part of the night when you've passed just drinking dinner alcohol and are on to the hard stuff. Yeah, that kind of music.
From a writing perspective, there's not too much to say. I mean it's just the old platitudes of rock music. You know songs about sex, drugs, drinking and partying. For some reason, it just doesn't get old and... Yeah, it's fun to listen to here as well. The riffs are catchy and sharp and the rough tone on the guitars add to the rip-roaring fun. The album does have it better paced moments as well, with the songs like "Another Day" and "Down in the Dirt" where the band shows some great rhythm and melodies.
So, what do I think? I like it. This Side of Hell is a bunch of fun to listen to. Is it any sort of artistic masterpiece or soulfully respectable? No, but I don't think it's meant to be. I mean you don't have to be "good" to be awesome and Snake Bite Whisky definitely fall into the awesome category. This is just a fun rock 'n' roll party record and it's made by guys who clearly enjoy and care about what they do. I give it a solid pass.