Hookworms – The Hum
Leeds five piece Hookworms’ latest release ‘The Hum’ follows on from 2013’s hypnotic ‘Mystic Pearl’ with a renewed explosive energy. Often labelled as psychedelic noise rock, the enigmatic Northern boys stand firmly in a lineage of the likes of Spiritualized – but the album’s frantic, feverish sound is distinctly unique. Submerged in pounding, distorted guitars that never stop to come up for air, the songs are delightfully dense and oppressive – and even in the album’s mellower moments, such as standout track ‘Off Screen’, the dizzy whine is ever present. The distant vocals unsurprisingly also come laden with fuzz and wail almost indiscernibly with the rawness of skinned knees – but the snatches of melody and lyricism that come through are captivating.
Most of the tracks here are melted together with droning, languid interludes that refuse any respite from the thrashing noise and, while the walls of distortion drenched guitars strumming two chord grooves could easily get tiresome, they never seem to tread water. New intricacies and swirling hazy sounds are constantly piled on top, twisting the songs into sprawling, interesting beasts. Here’s hoping Hookworms keep their parasitic claws stuck into their grimy brand of psychedelic rock for a long time to come.
Joe Moulam 7/10