Hot Snakes - Reissues album

Much-loved San Deigo posthardcore crew rifle through their back pages

TODO alt text

It always seems an odd decision to remaster albums when their charm lies in the raw, rough-and-ready nature of the music, and yet it’s something we see time and again when a record comes around for a second time.

Thankfully, both Sub Pop and Hot Snakes – formed by Rocket From The Crypt frontman John Reis and Rick Froberg after they’d been in the equally excellent Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu together – know to leave things alone, and these reissues are presented in all their original spit-and-sawdust glory.

Debut Automatic Midnight (710) picks up the thread where their previous bands left off, a post-hardcore thrill-ride, Froberg’s incandescent yelp galloping to keep up with the speed-demon guitars, a breathless, unadulterated punk-rock rush with a heart of pure soul. Follow-up Suicide Invoice (810) takes its foot off the pedal a little, and in the process showcases Hot Snakes’ wonderfully snarky side (any album that starts with a song called I Hate The Kids is alright by us), but the beast was only collecting itself, and that old aggression rears its head again on the fiery, furious Audit In Progress (810).

Revisiting these records is a cathartic privilege. But the best news is that there’s a new album on the way in 2018. Bring it on.