Album review: Hot Snakes reissues

by Jon E. Lynch

Hot Snakes, “Automatic Midnight” (2000); “Suicide Invoice” (2002); “Audit in Progress” (2004)

Available: Friday, Jan. 19, via Sub Pop Records as a digital download on various high-quality formats (320K, MP3, ALAC, & FLAC), on cassette tape, and compact disc. Each of the reissues are also available on vinyl, with the (presumably limited) first pressings on three snazzy and eye-popping different colorways: Orange, yellow, and off-pink, respectively.

Within previous articles, I’ve both praised and lamented bands reforming, reissuing “classic” (classic to me, mind you) records, touring and eventually recording new material. To be crystal clear, I couldn’t be happier that the San Diego, California, post-hardcore act Hot Snakes are doing all four. It is my opinion that when the 2005 lineup of Rick Froberg (guitar, vocals), “Swami” John Reis (guitar), Gar Wood (bass), and Mario Rubalcaba (drums) unceremoniously called it quits, they did so at quite possibly their collective creative peak in this particular outfit.

All four members went on to other various musical projects. Wood continued to record and play with Beehive and the Barracudas. Rubalcaba stayed extra busy with a variety of bands, perhaps most notably the punk super-behemoth OFF!. Reis tended to and focused on his killer Swami Records label, while Froberg started a band, Obits, that recorded, hands down, my favorite record of 2009 titled “I Blame You.” Stars, tours, and personal lives must have aligned just right, and this coming spring, Sub Pop will release their first album of new material in 14 years. To tide us all over for the next few months, reacquaint or make yourself for the first time familiar with these three scorchers. These are must-owns for fans of guitar-heavy, melody-driven, heavier-leaning indie, post-hardcore, and straight forward rock ’n’ roll.

Recommended for fans of Hot Snakes and all their various crossover and related bands that are in no way limited to Rocket From the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Obits, Burning Brides, The Night Marchers, OFF!, and The Delta 72.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]

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