Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

SNAKE OIL CHARLATANS

Elixir

2010-12-07

Review by Steven "Nick" Nickelson: Guitarist Andrew VerLee seems to get so zoned into his playing that I suspect he has even named his guitar. This guy is very talented, and if this band should fold, or should Rock fall out of favor (God forbid), then I would fully expect to find him playing the Blues (more on that later). This EP proves that he is talented enough to not be fenced in by labels. Throw in the equally talented singer/guitarist/songwriter Dale Wicks, and you have got the makings of a band on a very steep trajectory. I do not want to downplay the other members of the band – especially the tight integration in all the songs on this EP. The drummer, Adam Chandler, keeps all the rest of the group in line with his pacing on snares. He is assisted very ably by bassist Dave Nyhuis, who zones almost as much as lead guitarist Andrew VerLee. In most bands, the bass guitar is there only to provide a backbeat and to assist the drummer in maintaining the tempo – not so with this band. The bass is an integral element in “Bright When It Shines”, as well as “Die Quickly”. Drums and bass are more pronounced in “Dress For The Weather”, a dark song reminiscent of early Floyd, or Maybe Alvin Lee (from Ten Years After). The lead guitar on this song conjures up visions of John Mayall, or maybe an early Jimmy Page. Drums and bass are most pronounced (and necessary) in “Stargazer”. Here we have all members of the band helping to craft an excellent tune, from guitar riffs and counter-riffs to the tuneful singing by Dale Wicks. Give a listen to “Die Quickly” - it is so timely. And I bet you won't be able to get that little ditty out of your head once you hear it. All around this is a great listening experience, and my only complaint is that it isn't long enough. Please turn out more tunes! -----Steven “Nick” Nickelson

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Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.