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*** RISE ALBUMS OF 2013 NUMBER 5 ***
For a while now Leeds five-piece Hookworms have been terrorising headlining bands across northern England and beyond, not through histrionics or gimmick, but through sheer sonic velocity and emotive intent. Often bracketed among the latest wave of psychedelic rock currently appearing in pockets around the UK (as support slots with Wooden Shjips, Sun Araw and Peaking Lights attest), this tag is somewhat of a misnomer for a band whose use of repetition and reverb is not to open the third dimension or for some sort of flower-power escapism. Instead the reel feels cathartic, each fresh revolution of the loop a confrontation between the band and themes of depression, loss and anger - subjects close to the heart of the groupâ€™s vocalist MJ (â€œno enigma; we just donâ€™t use our full names, weâ€™ve no interest in being celebrities.â€)
â€˜Pearl Mysticâ€™ was recorded and produced in MJâ€™s own Suburban Studios â€“ where heâ€™s worked on records for Mazes, Eagulls and Spectrals among others â€“ and he admits he enjoyed the greater freedom he could allow himself on his own project. The album is an absolutely thunderous statement of intent for Hookworms (MJ â€“ vox/keys/analogues; JW â€“ guitarist, SS â€“ guitarist; MB â€“ bass; JN â€“ drums) after a portentous couple of years of live shows and limited releases (a debut self-titled EP on Sun Arawâ€™s Sun Ark label, a 7â€ Gringo Records all sold out quickly). Whilst their live shows continued to increase in intensity, with impressive festival appearances at Beacons, Liverpool PsychFest and Supersonic cementing their reputation treading the boards. Live and on record, like Spaceman 3, they pointedly subvert the tripped out sound environments of psychedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J.Spaceman et al, thereâ€™s no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity, and hit all the harder for it.
Indeed, the most impressive thing about Hookworms is that, through this torrent of emotion, through their wild motorik and their thick slabs of noise that threaten to spill over, thereâ€™s always the sense that theyâ€™re in control of it all, so committed are they to this catharsis that they refuse to throw any of it to chance. And so they shouldnâ€™t, because even at this early stage we think Pearl Mystic will be one of the albums of 2013.
1. Away / Towards
2. Form And Function
4. In Our Time
5. Since We Had Changed
8. What We Talk About