Album review: Hot Snakes, “Jericho Sirens”

by Jon E. Lynch

Hot Snakes, “Jericho Sirens”Available Friday, March 16, via Sub Pop Records in various digital formats – 320K, MP3, ALAC, FLAC – as well as cassette tape, compact disc, and on very limited Loser Edition black colored vinyl, while supplies last. Once the limited-edition black vinyl runs out, the LP will be available in clear vinyl.

Yes, you read that correctly. To reiterate directly from the folks at Sub Pop: “… in keeping with the band’s desire to BLAZE THEIR OWN TRAIL AND LAUGH IN THE FACE OF TIME-HONORED TRADITIONS. The black version is, in this case, the LIMITED LOSER EDITION, since the regular edition available at other outlets will be CLEAR vinyl. That clear version will only be available for sale here once the LIMITED EDITION BLACK LOSER VINYL runs out.”

This move is both hilarious and fantastic, and gives listeners a glimpse into the attitude and aesthetic of the band. Hot Snakes’ desire to buck trend and throw a wrench into the gears of the status quo is part of who they are and how they approach their music.

Swami (also known as John Reis) and Rick Froberg have been playing in bands together since high school, and that youthful exuberance and attitude hasn’t waned a bit. Back in mid-January, I reviewed the three Hot Snakes reissues that were set to precede “Jericho Sirens,” their first album in 14 years under this particular moniker.

True to form, the “Sirens” album is ripped through at breakneck speed and precision. It clocks in at 31 minutes and spans 11 tracks, and the record seems to be over far too quickly. Old and new fans alike will find plenty to take away from repeated listens, whether it’s the subtle melodica flitted within the title track, or the wry lyrical cynicism layered throughout.

Recommended for current and new fans of Hot Snakes and their many offshoot projects and bands, including Obits, OFF!, Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, and The Delta 72.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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