Helicopter riffsI finally managed to view the (complete) Pitchfork 2004 albums list. I suppose they must have had a lot of traffic on their server today. I was actually looking forward to seeing this; despite the criticism I seem to read about their overtly obscure taste in music, they have alerted me to some great albums – that cover a broad selection of musical genres – over the last couple of years. There are far too many to list here. But… I was slightly disappointed with this, especially their list of top ten albums. Now, I don’t want to take this too far because I know they are only opinions and therefore subjective, but all the same, Joanna Newsom? Devendra Banhart? (The Streets!) Animal Collective? All in the top ten. Words cannot comprehend how mind numbingly boring (I think) this whole “freak-folk” scene is…Is it really William Oldham's fault? I won't believe it. Ahh well. They didn’t even have the Hot Snakes album in their list! But look, they have in avertedly allowed me to start a discussion on “Audit in Progress.” Aww, they shouldn’t have…
Some historical context: Hot Snakes consist of guitarist/vocalists John Reis and Rick Froberg, drummer Mario Rubalcaba, and bassist Gar Wood. Reis was better known as Speedo (Rocket From the Crypt) who also played in the acclaimed Drive Like Jehu with Froberg, who himself had gone by Rick Farr and Eric Froberg. And so it goes. The most interesting thing about this band is that – before this year at least – had no plans to tour. I managed to catch them live in October. They really put on a great show. I’m sure a lot of people were expecting them to mostly play tracks off the new record, they didn’t, but they kept the same intensity going throughout their set – Mario Rubalcaba drumming is just as dominant as it sounds on record. Oh, and did I mention that I bought “Audit in Progress” on limited edition (red!) vinyl after the gig, and that Speedy and Gar Wood signed the album for me? Oh look, I just did.
This is a record that I can talk about excessively, but then talking about this record is rather pointless really - It’s an album that speaks for itself. Hot Snakes aren't out there to impress anybody; their mission, or rather their existence is based on creating short, swaggering, and pummelling hard-guitar-riff rock and roll. That’s it. There is nothing else to get. Listen to “Hatchet Job,” and let it pierce your fragile little minds. Play it at home. Play it in the car. Play it to other people! Just play it, and forget about everything else.
Hot Snakes - Hatchet Job
Buy it from Insound today.