Hot Snakes – Jericho Sirens
14 years on from their last studio album, Hot Snakes blow away the competition with new album Jericho Sirens
Incredibly, it has been 14 years since Hot Snakes' last studio album Audit in Progress. Over the course of three increasingly impressive records, the central songwriting duo of Rick Froberg and John 'Speedo/Swami/Slasher' Reis perfected their balance of nervous post-punk and more straight-up rock and roll. By the early 2000s of course, this surprised no one; the pair had grown in esteem as the previous decade elapsed, first in their bands Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu (with whom they recently undertook a hugely successful reunion tour) before Reis would go on to front perhaps the most well-known of the pair's exploits, Rocket From the Crypt.
Hot Snakes unexpectedly announced this new record and tour late last year to a huge degree of excitement, given a whole new generation were ready to take them on board. The resulting album, Jericho Sirens – reportedly the first of three already-recorded albums from the newly-reformed San Diego band – is an incredible turn, and proof to the other half-hearted post-hardcore comebacks of the last years (looking at you At the Drive-In, Refused and more) that it is possible to still be high-quality and relevant.
In fact, in places Hot Snakes' fourth album is so good, it even puts newer bands who have come up in the meantime to shame. Just take central belter Death Camp Fantasy and see the sheer intensity yet effortlessness with which they toss out yet another mini-masterpiece after mini-masterpiece, epics barely scratching three minutes in a half-an-hour record. Elsewhere, opener I Need a Doctor perfectly (re-)introduces the band, Candid Cameras shows they are still able to create something disorientating yet beautiful, and Six Wave Hold-Down shows Hot Snakes are still perfectly comfortable being a pop-punk band too.
Welcome back Froberg, Reis and co. We never knew how much we missed you.
Listen to: I Need a Doctor, Six Wave Hold-Down, Death Camp Fantasy