Home > News & Reviews > Hot Snakes

Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Album Review)

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 Written by Huw Baines

Photo: Rick Froberg

Few corners of the music world subscribe to the law of diminishing returns quite like reunion albums. They are, broadly, to be treated with suspicion. What are the motives behind them? Does each note contained within sound like a dollar sign rolling around in cartoon eyes? Do the band care? Do we care?

Hot Snakes care. ‘Jericho Sirens’, the garage-punk outfit’s first collection of new material in 14 years, goes hard. Over 30 years after they first got in a room together to make noise, Swami John Reis and Rick Froberg have delivered a feast of killer hooks and unremittingly gnarly riffs.

The band’s members have remained busy in the last decade and a half, reuniting as Hot Snakes in 2010 while playing together, and apart, in Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From The Crypt and the Night Marchers.

One of the great strengths possessed by ‘Jericho Sirens’, though, is its power as a self-contained piece of work. Once I Need A Doctor kicks in, history feels like a boring diversion.

Hot Snakes have always been a more rhythmically robust, adrenalised proposition than the other bands that share their family tree, and that hasn’t changed. ‘Jericho Sirens’ is a lean, no-nonsense trip with musicians who remain a ferocious unit.  Driven on by drummers Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, who share duties behind the kit, the LP has a couple of gears: fast and faster.

The incessant pace, though, can’t derail the meticulous streak that runs through both the direct, joyously melodic guitar work on Six Wave Hold-Down and the piercing, vicious jabs of Candid Cameras. Froberg’s voice, meanwhile, darts between the snotty, clipped phrasing of early hardcore, a wild shriek and, on the title track, a rootsy classic rock wail. He plays off Reis’s restless energy perfectly. “I came hard,” is how the latter described their creative partnership on this record.

An easy, and valid, criticism would be that ‘Jericho Sirens’ sticks to its blueprints from minute one. But that would also overlook just how much joy there is to be had in getting loose and weird during half an hour of unbridled, bug-eyed rock ‘n’ roll. Hot Snakes are back, and they are not fucking around.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

Never Bored: Ugly-Pop Band Skating Polly Discuss Life On Tour
Mon 10 Sep 2018
Wanderlust is a word usually associated with gap years and middle aged people who want a fancy way of saying they’re bored with the life they’ve made for themselves.
Grin Through The Dark Stuff: The Dirty Nil Return With The Mighty 'Master Volume'
Tue 11 Sep 2018
Towards the end of Pain of Infinity, one of the singles from the Dirty Nil’s new record ‘Master Volume’, Luke Bentham drawls “and another thing, baby...” before ripping a guitar solo. He gets back to the microphone in time to yell: “I never loved you and I hate your friends.” The frontman is inconsiderately handsome, and has been known to play a Gibson Les Paul mid-knee slide while chewing bubblegum and wearing a star-spangled denim cowboy shirt.
Light, Love and Lineage: Amy Helm Keeps Her Family's Fire Burning
Thu 27 Sep 2018
Photo: Ebru Yildiz To some people music is much more than just a form of entertainment or artistic expression. On her latest solo album ‘This Too Shall Light’ Amy Helm, daughter of the Band’s legendary singing drummer Levon Helm and singer-songwriter Libby Titus, has not only crafted a beautiful collection of gospel-infused Americana gems, but also a record with a rich sense of heritage dripping from every note.
New Faces, New Sound: How Federal Charm Moved Forwards on 'Passenger'
Tue 18 Sep 2018
Imagine being in a rock ‘n’ roll band with two albums under your belt and a fistful of big-name support slots in the bank. Imagine you spent the best part of a decade building a fanbase. Then, just as you’re preparing to make that all important third album, imagine waving goodbye to half the group. Do you wallow in self-pity? Wave the white flag and call it quits? Or recruit two new members and bounce back with your strongest album to date.
Making A Big Noise Is Fun: Inside The Weird And Wonderful World Of HMS Morris
Wed 26 Sep 2018
Let’s start with some advice from Heledd Watkins and Sam Roberts, who are the backbone of the Welsh-speaking, genre-melding psych-pop band HMS Morris: “Expect the unexpected.”
Stop Standing Still: The Goon Sax Evolve On The Rich, Ambitious 'We're Not Talking'
Mon 17 Sep 2018
Photo: Ben O'Connor Louis Forster keeps forgetting something. He’s at his band’s rehearsal room picking up some gear. They’re going on tour; landing in London and moving on to an opening night in Glasgow after the long trip over from Brisbane. They’re pretty much good to go.
Attan - End Of (Album Review)
Wed 19 Sep 2018
Attan released their debut EP, ‘From Nothing’, three years ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare, just positive rumblings and a few ‘ones to watch’ recommendations. Anyone who saw the band during that period got it, though. The Norwegians’ sludge-tinged, blackened hardcore was radicalised in the live arena as vocalist Remi Semshaug Langseth went walkabout during the cathartic seven minute epic Edward. He screamed in faces, slapped his heart onto his sleeve and then carved it open for all to see.
Poetry Versus Precision: Estrons Talk 'You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough'
Fri 05 Oct 2018
Photo: Imogen Forte When Estrons vocalist Tali Källström played a test pressing of the band’s debut album to a friend, their response was easy to remember. “It sounds like you’ve dipped in and had sex with every genre,” they said. Well, they’re not wrong.
< Prev   Next >