Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens (Sub Pop)

It’s only taken them 14 years, but Hot Snakes are back. Oh boy are they back. Whilst my punk rock ears may be more accustomed to a straight-up approach from John Reis with Rocket From The Crypt, Hot Snakes always held preference over Drive Like Jehu. I guess that’s just a case of me needing to take my shoes and socks off to count over ten. I really am that shit at math(s).

As the needle hit the wax I was recovering from an anxiety attack. If some hippy dippy philosophy about universes colliding were to be adopted, the LP hit me right between my tired eyes. Hot Snakes didn’t cure my ills but then they weren’t supposed to; instead sound tracking the bastard. I Need a Doctor? Damn right I do!

Whether it be the angular post-punk of Candid Camera, the more accessible Six Wave Hold-Down, personal stand-out Psychoactive or the tribal title track, I guess the album needs less track-by-track analysis and more praise as a complete package of flowing musical intensity. From start to finish, it’s a beast.

Standing the album on its own two feet without delving into the past, it’s nothing short of a masterpiece. Record collecting nerds will also relish the Loser Edition on limited black vinyl. Yes, normal, black vinyl! My anxiety isn’t lessening but that may be because I’m on listen number three. I would take Valium for the next aural sitting but that simply wouldn’t work against Jericho Sirens.

Like they’ve never been away, Rick Froberg, John Reis and co. are back, and they’re showing the young whippersnappers how it’s done… again. It’s only March and we already have an album of the year contender. Simply awesome. Ginge Knievil

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