Here They Go Again
Steamhammer / SPV Records, 2001
REVIEW BY: Paul Hanson
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 04/06/2001
I'm used to record label hype but I've just received the lowest of the low in this tactic. In this particular case, SPV has gone too far and I'm about to call them on it.
The liner notes for the latest Company Of Snakes release Here They Go Again - Live acts as if the world has been salivating in anticipation for this release. I get that impression from the press release that states such rubbish as, "If you ask people concerned professionally with the rock music scene which, in their opinion, was the most important and influential line-up of the now defunct British heavy rock formation, Whitesnake, most people would probably list the original line-up of David Coverdale, Bernie Marsden, Mickey Moody and Neil Murray. It was in this constellation which helped Whitesnake attain extraordinary success from 1978 to 1982, during which time the released such great albums as Northwinds, Snakebite, Trouble [and 6 others]."
I admit that I grew up with the widespread commercial success of Whitesnake in a culture that never heard of the band before 1984's Slide It In. I admit, fully, my bias in the "new" Whitesnake. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that I think the press for this release is flat out stupid. In my opinion, and if "concerned professionally" means I have gotten money for writing about music, I'm qualified, Whitesnake had zero success in the United States until 1984's Slide It In release and no widespread success until their 1987 self-titled release. "Extraordinary success from 1978 to 1982"? Hmmph.
So, obviously, since I made the mistake of reading the press packet for this release prior to listening to the two CDs of this release, I was in a foul mood. And hearing a band play material that sounds like Whitesnake just made my foul mood worse. The music is executed rather tightly. Drummer John Lingwood, who the press material describes as "A popular artiste constantly in demand, whoxse curriculum vitae already included such names as Manfred Mann's Earthband, Roger Chapman and Elkie Brooks," nails the two and four beats with precision. Sorry, I've heard of the first of those three bands, but not the last two. Vocalist Stefan Berggren sounds, well, like Coverdale in a lot of spots.
Out of the two CDs, I found the old Whitesnake songs to be handled the best, especially the stellar "Here I Go Again" and "Is This Love." Tracks like "Don't Break My Heart Again" and "Rough And Ready" are boring.
In all, I can't really give this release a negative grade, even though I want to, based on the press material. Instead, I'll give it a C.