Hot Snakes - Thunder Down Under (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Hot Snakes

Thunder Down Under (2006)


The formula for the Hot Snakes' Thunder Down Under is pretty simple: Take all the band's best songs, shift them into overdrive, and play them as tightly as possible for a live session on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

In the relatively short lifespan of the Hot Snakes, John Reis of Rocket from the Crypt and Drive Like Jehu's Eric Froberg were one of the most potent duos in music. The two were the driving force behind the band's immaculate style of hardcore garage punk, and their collective genius shines through on the live radio performance. From "Braintrust" to "Hi-Lites" to "Retrofit," the band relentlessly pounds through their high-intensity songs nearly flawlessly.

Froberg walks a seamless line between snotty melodic yelling, and unchained emotion. The band hits their peak with the mesmerizing "Plenty for All," with dreamy guitar playing juxtaposed against pounding drums and Froberg's shouts of "Southern California, let's go! There's room for us all." Thunder Down Under also offers up two songs not on their full-lengths, "U.S. Mint" and the impromptu off-key "Rock N' Roll Will Never Die," the one track that doesn't perfectly hit home.

The only problem with Thunder Down Under is that it was released posthumously, and the music community is no longer graced with the Hot Snakes' presence. Even so, Thunder Down Under is a fitting end to a band who deserves every bit of success and acclaim they received, and should have gotten more. As long as this disc is available, we can be certain that it's true: "rock 'n' roll will never die."