REVIEW - Sonny Vincent - 'Snake Pit Therapy' (Album - Svart Records)
A veteran of CBGBs and Max's Kansas City from the halycon days of the New York punk scene with his band Testors, Sonny Vincent has gone on to have a prolific recording career including playing with alumni such as Bob Stinson (Replacements) in Model Prisoners, Cheetah Chrome (Dead Boys) and Greg Norton (Husker Du) in Shotgun Rationale, being part of Moe Tucker's (Velvet Underground) band in the 90s and releasing an album with Rocket From The Crypt in 2015. He is back with 'Snake Pit Therapy' - another album in a long line of releases from his solo career with large contributions from Paul Blaccard from Corpse Grinder on drums and CBGB/Max's compatriot Jack De Angelo on bass alongside a revolving cast of musicians on the album.
'Snake Pit Therapy' has all of Sonny's trademarks in an exciting, mostly raucous album - blazing, slashing guitars with rapid-fire solos, impassioned, urgent vocals, honest 'heart on his sleeve' lyrics and melodic (though raw and rough 'n' ready) tuneage with a hard-hitting undertow and a venomous rock 'n' roll attitude running through the record. 'Never Tired', 'Higher Than Charlie' and the pulsating, driving 'Get Out' make a particularly uncompromising trio of tracks in the middle of the album and most of the set has a hard-charging feel from the opening guitar of 'Stick' to the final crescendo of closing track 'Forest'; all bar one of the tracks are under three minutes in length and never outstay their welcome. There are more measured tracks dotted throughout where a 12 string guitar jangle is to the fore - tracks such as 'Messed Up In Blue', 'The Rain Is Black Again' and 'Another Land' give a slight change of pace and brings Sonny's songwriting skills to the front. Backing vocals are also applied skilfully throughout the release - check out 'Japan Mofo'.
15 tracks of punky, hard-hitting rock 'n' roll shot through with an old-fashioned 'death or glory' attitude, 'Snake Pit Therapy' is a great record that will stand tall alongside Sonny's many previous releases. With a recent book of memories, also entitled 'Snake Pit Therapy' being released, Sonny Vincent might be taking some time to look back, but this record proves there's still much more enjoyable music to come from him in the future. A splendid record!
'Snake Pit Therapy' is out on Svart Records on the 17th September 2021 and will be available from all the usual outlets. You can pre-order the album here :-