Strange Victory Presents
Saturday 7th December 2019
Black Box Belfast
Tickets £15 + booking via TICKETWEB.IE
Swami John Reis (Rocket From The Crypt main man) and Rick Froberg have been making noises together since high school. In 1986 it was the post-hardcore chime of Pitchfork. In 1991 it was the sprawling, multi-faceted arrangements of Drive Like Jehu. In 1999 it was the lean, mean swagger of Hot Snakes. Reis and Froberg are responsible for some of the most turbulent rock and roll of their, or any, generation.
Hot Snakes streamlined Jehu’s complex compositions and emerged as bona fide downstroke warlords. They made 3 studio albums of high-velocity, slash-your-face, piss-punk: 2000’s Automatic Midnight, 2002’s Suicide Invoice and 2004’s Audit in Progress. The band ceased activity in 2005 but reunited for a triumphant world tour in 2011, planting the seeds for what has cum.
Now, after a 14-year hiatus from the studio, Hot Snakes have kicked down the door back into our lives with their new album, Jericho Sirens, out now on Sub Pop.
Musically, the album incorporates the most extreme fringes of the Hot Snakes sound (the vein-bulging, 78-second “Why Don’t It Sink In?” the manic, Asian Blues on speed of “Having Another?”), while staying true to longstanding influences such as the Wipers, Dead Moon, Michael Jackson, and Suicide on propulsive tracks such as “Six Wave Hold-Down,” one of the first songs written for the project during a Mummer Parade 2017 session in Philadelphia. Other moments like the choruses of “Jericho Sirens” and “Psychoactive” nod to Status Quo and AC/DC with Froberg admitting, “I still flip bird and ride my BMX on top of cop cars.”
Jericho Sirens was recorded in short bursts over the past year, mostly in San Diego and Philadelphia with longtime bassist Gar Wood, Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba, both of whom drummed on prior Hot Snakes releases but never on the same one. For Reis, reactivating his creative partnership with Froberg was one of the most rewarding aspects of the process: “Our perspectives are similar. Our tastes are similar. He is my family. And what more is there to say? My favorite part of making this record was hearing him find his voice and direction for this record. I came hard.”
In tandem with a full back catalog reissue series and the new album, Hot Snakes will return to the road in 2019 to incinerate the villages, and they’re already looking ahead to more music. Says Gar Wood, “There’re already 2 more records written and recorded. We wanted to come out with this one using the more mainstream sounding stuff to give people a chance to catch up.”