Hot Snakes - Jericho Sirens (Cover Artwork)

Hot Snakes

Jericho Sirens (2018)


When I hear about a band I love doing the whole reunion thing my first thought is, “please don’t record a new record.” This is because ninety percent of the time the record turns out to be a real stinker. That is why when I heard the Hot Snakes were back I was simultaneously stoked, and nervous; that reunion record was looming over head like a little black rain cloud that could give way at any moment. It’s been a few years now since the lads reformed, and aside from one stinker of a reunion track on Swami’s Hardcore Matinee compilation, the band is back with one hell of a record in Jericho Sirens.

Jericho Sirens is the fourth full-length in the Hot Snakes anthology and first for new label home, Sub Pop Records. Jericho Sirens is filled with the unmistakably remarkable guitar riffs of John Reis, the urgently strained vocals of Rick Froberg, the rock solid low end of Gar Wood, and the bombastic nature of both drumming impresarios, Mario Rubalcaba and Jason Kourkounis. Right from the opening track “I Need A Doctor”, you can tell that this isn’t going to be like other reunion records; it’s going to be good, and actually worthy of your time. The guitar riff of “I Need A Doctor” is a John Reis signature. Reminiscent of the Hot Snakes classic “No Hands”, but definitely not a rehash. Rick Froberg’s one of a kind voice is anchored above the guitar, straining to get his plea out “I need a doctor, baby/What am I gonna do?!?” The rhythm section is rock solid and driving, giving an adequate nest for Reis and Froberg’s duel guitar attack. From there the tone is set and each track seems to be better than the last. “Candid Cameras” has some of the most exciting rhythmic work happening on any Hot Snakes song ever, and “Why Don’t It Sink In” is the band at its most pissed and as close to hardcore they have ever come. The record may pull back the reins in spots, but the aggression is still palpable. The Hot Snakes may have been absent from a record release schedule for the past fourteen years, but in no way has their attack diminished.

Jericho Sirens is the record the Hot Snakes needed to make; scratch that, HAD to make. Regardless of how I or others feel about reunion records, Jericho Sirens is the exception to the rule. Should I have ever doubted the lads’ capabilities of writing incredible rock ‘n roll songs? No, not in the slightest. But it is hard not to when some of your favorite bands’ reunion records are pisspoor efforts at money grabbing nostalgia. Hot Snakes are the exception to this and will forever be. Honestly, they could’ve put a record out of white noise and it would still be incredible because it would still have that rock ‘n roll swagger that only these lads can bring. It’s great having the Hot Snakes back, and even greater to have them putting out a record filled an aggression that their peers can’t even come close to achieving. Vive La Hot Snakes in 2018!!

P.S. If you honestly don’t like this record you don’t know the meaning of the word good. You also wouldn’t know what good music was if it slapped you in the face. You, in fact, are lame and no one likes you!