Sub Pop (2017, Reissue)
My goal this week is to review each of the Hot Snakes albums. The three reissues that Sub Pop put out and then their new album, Jericho Sirens, on Thursday. Just a warning, there is some real life stuff that may interfere with this schedule as this is kind of a crazy week, but I'm going to try to adhere to this plan. We'll see.
Automatic Midnight was the first Hot Snakes album and it came out all the way back in 2000. It doesn't seem like that should be as long ago as it actually it is, but as they say, time flies. I remember very specifically how much I loved this record from the second I heard it. What I don't remember is how I first heard of this coming out. I assume it must have been one of the versions of the Swami board, but man was I excited to hear Rick and John working together again. After all, it had been forever since Drive Like Jehu broke up. Actually it had only been six years, but back then that seemed like a significantly longer amount of time than it does now.
To this day, this is still my favorite Hot Snakes record overall. The one-two blast of "If Credit's What Matters, I'll Take Credit" and "Automatic Midnight" are among the best album openers out there. But I also really like the diversity. Things get a little slower and hypnotic on "Salton City" only to have the energy build right back up into "10th Planet" and one of my favorite songs of all time "Light Up The Stars." The intro of which is just a perfect little slice of riffage.
Top to bottom, Automatic Midnight is a ridiculously record. Though this new Sub Pop release is remastered, I don't hear a huge difference in the sound. The bass is a bit more pronounced and the vocals are slightly clearer in the mix, but I don't think there was much need for tweaking this masterpiece. It's pretty much perfect, though I wonder why they didn't go for white vinyl on the reissue.
Hot Snakes - Automatic Midnight: