Album review: Hookworms, “Microshift”

by Jon E. Lynch

Hookworms, “Microshift”

Available: Friday, Feb. 2, via the Domino Recording Co, as a digital download on various high-quality formats (MP3, FLAC and more) and on compact disc. I’d also guess that a standard black vinyl version will become available after preorders of the limited-edition orange vinyl, with exclusive alternate artwork sleeve, and printed PVC outer sleeve, and bonus hand-numbered screenprint are gone, given they number a mere 500. Check in with your local independent record store, wherever that may be, to procure the version that best suits you.

There is a bit of refreshing mystery that surrounds the Leeds/Halifax, UK-based five piece Hookworms. I’m sure one could very well venture down the interweb rabbit hole to dig, dig, dig, and reveal each and every known factoid on monogrammed band members JN (drum, drum machines), JW (guitars), MB (bass, blips) , MJ (organ, lyrics, vocals, etc), and EO (guitars). But, why? Why not simply enjoy the record for what it is: a meticulously crafted, dense, intricate, and expansively lush sonic swirl. Previous albums have been straightforward, riff-heavy psych akin to The Black Angels or Spaceman 3. There are still undercurrents of modern psychedelia, to be certain, but here the obvious has been eschewed for a positive deviation into programmed, exploratory electro-fuzz. Established fans of the band might feel momentarily slighted, but that will pass. There is so much happening on the record that both old and new fans alike will find something with each repeated (welcome and encouraged) listen.

Given the band’s attention to detail and overall approach to the aesthetics associated with their art, I imagine their live show is something to behold. While no U.S. dates have yet to be announced, stay in the know by checking in at and the interactive for forthcoming info.

Recommended for fans of Devo, Animal Collective, LCD Soundsystem, Spiritualized, Liars, Oneida or Hot Chip.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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