Queens Social Club - see stage times
Leeds-based psych-drone band reminiscent of legendary British acts like Spacemen 3 and Spiritualized.
Flinging themselves into the public’s consciousness with 2013’s Pearl Mystic, the debut LP’s perfect storm of billowing textures and napalm-filled Modern Lovers licks was one of the most-acclaimed albums of the year – receiving plaudits from The Guardian, Uncut, the BBC, NME, Drowned in Sound, Loud & Quiet (it was the latter twos Album of the Year) and many others.
Eighteen months on, their follow-up album The Hum in some way deals with the fallout from that period, where a bunch of friends merged together in Leeds through a shared love of Nuggets-era garage rock and Washington DC hardcore, found themselves dragged from vocalist, keyboard player and producer MJ’s Suburban Home Studios and into the glaring light. For a group who still keep the process of being a band so self-contained – managing themselves, going by their initials in public, and continuing to work day jobs to allow music to remain a passion and an escape – the sudden interest was a challenge as much it was a pleasure.
Opener ‘The Impasse’ is the closest Hookworms have sounded to their punk roots, a two-and-a-half minute-long garage rock explosion that sees MJ’s vocals pushed to distortion. Intentionally juxtaposing the near nine-minute opener of their previous record, it sets the stall out for an album that hurtles through with barely a glance backwards. The release and repetition of their previous material remains – most notably on the call and response vocals and sniping guitars of the portentous ‘On Leaving’ – but this is a record that goes for the jugular. Those who heard scorched ‘Radio Tokyo’ last year, will recognise it here again, sounding like a long-lost emission from late 60’s Detroit. First conceived around the making of their first record, it became addictive to the band, ultimately becoming the starting point for The Hum.
That will reaches its apex on album centre-piece ‘Beginners’, built around a scuttling series of electronic transmissions and brutally simple percussion that goads the track into opening up into a torrent of guttural guitar. Helping them realise their ambitions in mid-2012 was a change in personnel that saw JN join the group on drums. The unremitting nature of his no-holds-barred playing kicks The Hum up and down until its bruised crimson, punching holes through the pooling textural layers at a ceaseless tempo.