Slash’s other other other band. We all know who came first. In unit shifting VR came second. He’s been with Myles and the Conspirators for four albums now (the latest record is in the can and to be released through new label Marshall Records, yes the amplifier people) and asides from being there every time Alice Cooper steps near a recording studio this is the Cat in the Hat’s other notable gig.
Snakepit didn’t do amazing business for a couple of reasons. Two albums, two singers, still a lot of chemical dependence and most of all, lousy singles. Not lousy songs. Lousy singles. This track comes from the first Slash’s Snakepit record. The one with the guy from Jellyfish (Eric Dover) on vocals and a couple of strays from GNR who just wanted to play, not mess about messing about. It’s so very nearly the sound he would land upon with his current band less a couple of key details. The key to the lack of success is a lack of focus.
Being in Snakepit their stuff sounds like fun to play. Being a rock and roll type it’s got everything you would want. A heady groove, breakdowns, solos. Quality players in all spaces within the band. The songs however. They lack the Slash pop rock magic.
Slash has written and played some of the most enduring earworms of the last 35 years.
Sweet Child O’ Mine might be his signature tune but look too at Paradise City, You Could Be Mine, Anastasia, Slither, Fall To Pieces, Always On The Run, Beautiful Dangerous, Promise, Black And White. The man knows hooks. He can do populist ‘milkman can whistle’ guitar lines. That solo from November Rain is more well known than many number 1 hit singles themselves.
Well, It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere the first Slash’s Snakepit album didn’t have any of that. It’s a down and dirty in the lanes genre record. A mid 90’s sleazy grunge mix of yelps, riffs, chugs and drugs. If you like that kind of thing there’s a lot in there to enjoy. If you’re listening to the top 40. It wouldn’t even register.
Snakepit Mark One had the ranks filled out by Gilby Clarke and Matt Sorum from the day job, Mike Inez from Alice In Chains and Eric as mentioned above. They made a good sound. They we’re like a heavy Blind Melon. The big name image got them shows above the place the songs deserved on festival bills and Saul got to learn a lot about how to build the band he wanted. On the second go around Eric was replaced with Rod Jackson the guy who sang on the two Snakepit songs already featured here on SFTD.
Been There Lately and Ain’t Life Grand are much more like hit single material. But we’re not even close in reality. Slash is a support slot act at this stage in his career. He’s so sick from the caning it all these years that he has literally got his heart bursting out of his chest and after only two low profile albums in five years it takes a near death experience to put our man back on top.
The title of this song would become all the more poignant at the end of the Snakepit era than it was at the start…