Third album from Leeds-based psychedelic noise band Hookworms. With a new drummer on board, this is a more confident, leaner and meaner offering from the band Julian Cope described as a "...sub-Zabriskie Point ambient road-movie heat haze-on-the-road sonic wipeout." The limited edition comes on clear vinyl with a free 7" (note the limited edition is long sold out!). Both versions come with free download.
Vinyl LP £15.99 WEIRD040LP
180g vinyl LP on Weird World.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Includes download code
Vinyl LP £19.49 WEIRD040LPX
Ltd indies only 180g transparent vinyl LP + bonus 7" on Weird World. ONE COPY PER CUSTOMER!.
- Indies only
- Includes download code
It was only three short years ago that Hookworms' debut EP kick-started the band's inexorable rise to prominence; first a limited cassette on Sun Ark and then the 12" on Gringo, causing Norman dictator Phil to proclaim that if he still put out records, he'd want to put out theirs. He's clearly not the only one because since then they've had a proper full-length on Gringo and a single on Too Pure and now they join the likes of Melody's Echo Chamber and Peaking Lights on Domino sub-label Weird World for their "difficult" second album, 'The Hum'.
Here they pick up where 'Pearl Mystic' left off, 'Halloween II'-style - the budget is bigger but the band continue sticking to the elements which made their debut a success. Huge great walls of droning organ and slicing, shuddering guitar feedback, hard kraut-psych beats, warm repetitive basslines and MJ's impassioned yelp topping things off. As with the debut there are six "proper" songs and three drone interludes, this time numbered 'iv', 'v' and 'vi' as if to emphasise the continuity. The vocal-led numbers are punchier and poppier this time round though, with the vocals higher in the mix and generally clearer.
After setting the scene with a couple of pretty accessible rockers, single 'Radio Tokyo' is a stand-out, but my favourite moment comes halfway through the LP on 'Beginners', an hypnotic stripped back drumbeat and hard staccato bassline driving along a mulch of smudged and mumbled robotic vocals and bubbling guitar drone in the verses before bursting into a widescreen head-nodding kraut groove, eventually building into an air-punching Warm Digits-ish stomp populated by cavernous, ghostly vocal harmonies.
Next two drone pieces bookend 'Off Screen', the album's dreamy downbeat number, mirroring the previous album which closed with a similar dewy-eyed and introspective trudge, but with this being 'Halloween II' and all, we get a happy ending by way of the redemptive 'Retreat', a surprisingly positive and hopeful number for the 'Worms, which hints at a cyclical nature to the album with lyrics mentioning the 'Impasse' of the opener. Super stuff, building on the winning formula of their debut with catchier tunes and clearer production but maintaining that same psych/kraut/drone charm. After years of enduring the Kaiser Chiefs it's so nice to have a Leeds band doing well that we can actually be proud of.
9/10 Mr Mutant 11th December 2014
Pearl Mystic was critically acclaimed and I thought it was pretty good but this is much better.
The actual 'songs' are very catchy but with enough noise and interesting bits and pieces going on to actually make them...well...interesting.
The 'filler' (and I mean that in a positive way), the sound interludes between the 'songs', actually add to the album by building the anticipation to the next tune.
So there you have it...pretty fucking good if you ask me.
5/10 Kelly 7th November 2014
Hookworms ! Great live band. Liked 'pearl mystic' but after several listenings of 'the hum' I'm a bit disappointed to say that it's actually monotonous and bland.
Some parts sound like really bad 'Clinic'. ( I love Clinic ).
So many better bands at the moment to be honest as this is over hyped.
Some of the 'poppier' tracks are ruined by the vocals. Think they need to do something a bit different - either more extreme or strip it all back.
10/10 21st Century 30th October 2014
I'd totally agree with the above review apart from the rating. 10/10.... or in Spinal Tap terms 11/10.
Ever since their first album and seeing them at the Liverpool Psychedelic Festival in 2013 their music has totally mesmerised me me. Makes getting out of bed early on a wet weekend all the more worth it. Album of the Year.... and just for the record, the Eagulls 2nd best album of the year... and I'm from Manchester. Leeds have never seem so attractive since the days of Norman Hunter. (apologies for the ramblings but I had to put 300 characters minimum).
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