Album number two from Hookworms opens with a thrashy punk track, ‘The Impasse’ (hear it below). If this is the band’s attempt to sound like Suicide if they were a full band, rather than just a duo, then I guess they’ve succeeded – if you employ a little imagination.
Despite the band’s assertion that this album sounds more like themselves than any of their sundry inspirations, the majority of ‘The Hum’ has that same sort of semi-reverent, semi-plagiaristic vibe as the opening salvo, taking in motifs from Touch & Go hardcore, organ-dominated psych and whining astral rock.
The result is what happens when punk and the twin excesses of prog and Kosmische collide – shouty megaphone vocals, monolithically-heavy axe-wielding and droning, humming, largely directionless textures. Fans of Spacemen 3, Spiritualized et al need look no further.
Hookworms have a huge, infectious energy, best evidenced on the wild organ grooves and ridiculously weighty drumming of ‘Radio Tokyo’, but some of the finest moments come when they adopt a more considered, less-immediate approach.
The extended breakdown of that track – or the long-form 'Off Screen', or the instrumental link pieces that cement this record together – arguably showcases something altogether more engaging, relying on Mogwai-like tension and subtle drama than sheer effervescence alone.
Hookworms remain ones to watch, so long as they don’t blow themselves up on the launch pad before lift off.
Words: Mat Smith
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