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Michael Rank has assembled a new outfit for this on MoRisen, a new label out of Charlotte, the first Snatches record in a decade. Now he's got longtime bandmate Marc E. Smith on guitar, Kevin Clark on bass and John Howie replacing Sarah Romweber on drums. Rank's ability to wring the urgency of '70s-styled rock from his songs, both vocally and in the palpability of the music, is what keeps his music relevant after nearly 20 years. In the simple songs on "Hyena," there are pieces of Rank's favorites shredded like fine sawdust on a barroom floor. The swagger of glam (including an able nod to Bowie via a cover of 'Moonage Daydream") is ripped pretty heavy, and of course, there's that long-standing obsession with all things Stones. Standouts include "Nero," which made this writer rewind to hear it again, and "Terminal," which bears down hard with a squall of fuzz guitar. The two slow numbers, "Acetate" and "The Last Invention," must be intended as downtime in an otherwise raucous set of songs, but the best stuff here is when Snatches is in their element--evoking the feel they do live, boot kicked up on the edge of the stage, heads cocked, confident. How will they fare, with the "rock revival" (a meaningless term anyway) albatross currently hanging around the neck of music fans? Same as Rank and his cohorts always have, I'd wager, doing it because they love to, nothing more. Here's hoping it gets 'em a stab at some new listeners; they deserve it, no less than the Flat Duo Jets deserve ups from folks like the Whites Stripes.

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