Post-hardcore done right
Hot Snakes from San Diego haven’t released an album since 2004, but the band clearly hasn’t lost a step with their first release back, Jericho Sirens. The post-hardcore crew have stuck to their genre’s roots while forging their own path through their incredible instrumentals.
The kickoff track “I Need a Doctor” is a simple statement of needing a doctor. Something about the lyrics in this song is repetitive enough to the point of annoyance, but the instrumentals are actually very enjoyable. The drum work by Mario Rubalcaba is cathartic and rhythmic. The bridge after the chorus also has some really catchy guitar chords that ring to almost appear to be in an open tuning.
“Candid Cameras” has a ringing riff in both bass and especially the lead guitar, which is so chaotic and frantic at times it is almost whiplash-inducing. This post-hardcore root of the group is very reminiscent to newer releases by At The Drive-In, but even more enjoyable than anything that group has put out over the last year. “Having Another” also has this frenzy described before. This is an old school post-hardcore track in spirit, with thriving tones that pick up consistently and a riff that rips with no measurable rhythm but still has you tapping your foot.
“Why Don’t It Sink In?” is a straight-up punk song. This album does showcase versatility and this is no exception. It showcases an in your face, unfiltered punk vibe like old Minor Threat. The production is intentionally underwhelming to contrast with the clean sound that people would expect. By going against the grain, Hot Snakes makes one of the more memorable tracks on this record.
“Jericho Sirens” sounds almost like Metallica at first with a deep minor bassy guitar riff. The rest of the song builds up like Muse and it is an impressive instrumental track, even if the lyrical content is lackluster as shown on some of the previous tracks.
Jericho Sirens is not a surf rock album as the album cover might hint at. Instead, it is a quality post-hardcore album that picks from the roots of the genre and not where it trends today. It has some of the best guitar work so far this year with tracks that shadow At The Drive-In and Fall of Troy while keeping the Hot Snakes tone.