It still seems a little surreal that there is a new Hot Snakes record to write about. After all it has been 14 years since Audit In Progress came out. When Hot Snakes and Rocket From The Crypt both wrapped up in the mid 2000s, I accepted it and found closure. John Reis moved on to the Night Marchers and I was excited about the next chapter of rock and roll greatness.
Then the reunions started. Rocket, Jehu and Hot Snakes. Suddenly I was gripped with a longing for new music by one of those bands and thankfully Hot Snakes has stepped up to the plate and delivered. I don't know what I was expecting from them exactly, but damn if it isn't fucking perfect. Everything I've always loved about Hot Snakes is on display and they've somehow managed to get better in some regards and grumpier in others.
The album starts out with "I Need A Doctor." I actually heard this one at a show late last year, so I knew it was going to be something special. But even that didn't prepare me for how powerful it ended up being in recorded form. Rick's howl is coupled with the rest of the band beating their instruments into submission to create something deathly potent. I think just listening to it cured a few ailments I was experiencing.
"Candid Cameras" and "Why Don't It Sink In" are next up and at first they didn't grab me right away. But the more I listen to them, the more they sink in and just fit in perfectly in the flow of the album. If I dissected the rest of the record track by track, we'd be hear all day, so know that every song is incredible. Highlights are "Six Wave Hold Down," "Death Of A Sportsman" and my favorite track of the bunch, "Death Camp Fantasy." "Death Camp" is probably the closest thing on the album to being a poppy song, but more than anything it's a thunderous display of downstroke guitar riffage. The chord progression on the verse is unexpected, but works so damn perfect it makes me want to smack someone.
I really can't fathom a record coming out this year that is better than this. If it happens, well that's a hell of a record so I look forward to that. It doesn't make sense tto me that anyone wouldn't buy this record, but just in case you were on the fence, rest assured it's as great as anything the band has ever released. Do it.
Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens: