Hookworms – The Hum (Weird World)
LP / CD / DL
Leeds-based Hookworms have quite a reputation to uphold. Local legends in their own right, the band have also helped out on production duties for a number of smaller bands in Leeds. Attention turned to themselves however, the band have just released their much anticipated third album. Louder Than War’s Josh Nichol reviews.
Hookworms have had a short history of punk-influenced noise-rock. Their debut album, Pearl Mystic, had the right combination of pop and garage-rock, but in their own words they feel they ‘were writing Pearl Mystic to an audience in the same way your diary has an audience. It’s written to one but if no one ever reads it that’s not a big deal.’
With their upcoming LP, The Hum, there is a slight difference. This time there is a clear audience, whether they like it or not. The first record was released to such widespread acclaim, receiving plaudits from The Guardian, Uncut, the BBC, NME, Drowned in Sound and Loud & Quiet.
The record opens with the track, The Impasse, a short but deliberately simple introduction. It’s a two minute, heavily distorted punk song that provides a fitting opener to an album that will take you through various sonic platforms.
The second album, as a concept, doesn’t need to fit the same demands that a debut does. It can stray from the path and do things an album typically “shouldn’t” do. Third track, iv, is three minutes of noise (or a hum… a hum that continues to be a resounding theme throughout), a tool seemingly used for atmospheric purposes.
The Hum is very patiently constructed. In parts it can vary from Sonic Youth territories towards a more playful and distorted Patti Smith, in particular, slowing down pace in full swing and then bringing it back up towards a climactic but simple finish.
The breadth of the album itself is shown through various psychedelic and experimental influences, whether deliberate or not, seeping through the main body of work. Off Screen is described by the band as ‘probably the most depressing song on the record’ and that is true in a sense. However, it has the same uplifting and transcendent sensation that a My Bloody Valentine or Mogwai track gives its audience.
The Hum comes 18 months after Hookworms’ debut album. It manages to push the boundaries of what is expected from a relatively new band.
Having gained its audience already, the band’s style has managed to subvert and gain more personality in the process, leaving an album of exhilarating character and growth to add to their body of work so far.
The tracklisting for the album is as follows:
- 1. The Impasse
- 2. On Leaving
- 3. Iv
- 4. Radio Tokyo
- 5. Beginners
- 6. V
- 7. Off Screen
- 8. Vi
- 9. Retreat
The Hum will be available on vinyl (WEIRD040LP), CD (WEIRD040CD), and digitally (WEIRD040D).
There is also a limited pressing, deluxe edition of the album (WEIRD040LPX), featuring a die cut sleeve, 180g heavyweight transparent vinyl, a bonus 7” with new tracks and MP3 download.
All words by Josh Nichol. More from Josh can be found at his Author’s Archive.