SNATCH-BACK – Ride Hard Run Free
- by J.N.
- Posted on 03-04-2020
I will be the first to admit that the NWOBHM outfit named Snatch-Back is an entirely new phenomenon to me, but these skilled gentlemen originally formed the group all the way back in 1974 and may rightfully be called veterans of the wonderful genre that is proper, bone-snapping heavy metal.
Firmly rooted in old-school hard rock and metal (think mid- to late 70s) and with a solid knack for conjuring up catchy riffs and melodically simple yet infectious vocal lines, this outfit appears to draw on quite a few different influences with a few of them being Motörhead, Judas Priest, and even late-60s rock of the slightly more gritty variety ala Cream, Vanilla Fudge, Blue Cheer, and Jimi Hendrix. This is merely guesswork on my part, but at least that is the impression that one gets when listening to this 11-song opus of theirs.
The title song is a decent tune with a somewhat half-baked chorus to it, but things pick up by the time the second track appropriately titled “Killer” rolls around the corner and this one simply oozes attitude and unfiltered rock ‘n’ roll swagger. Other memorable highlights include the thrilling “Hard Times”, the fist-pumping “Movin’ Out”, and the atmospheric “Rock in a Cold Climate” – all of which underline the fact that this British ensemble knows how to craft excellent metal songs. Only a couple of tracks fail to impress, namely “On the Run” and “Got Trouble”, but other than that this is an inspired and confident piece of work. The live cuts from 1978 that have been included as a bonus are pretty lo-fi but nevertheless very charming and cool, and they certainly capture a certain mood and feel. If nothing else, they offer an interesting glimpse into the band’s musical past. Strong and muscular guitars, energetic and loud drums, and with enough bombast and punch to demolish your apartment, Snatch-Back are a hugely entertaining and often-times uplifting listen.
There is nothing original or musically revolutionizing to be discovered here, but in terms of melodies, dynamics, spark, and quality songwriting, "Ride Hard Run Free" contains a sufficient amount of all four to stand out among so many other records and EPs and whatnot by similar bands, which is really all the more reason why you should give this raw, organic effort a spin now.