The San Diego-based post-hardcore band Hot Snakes‘ invigorating latest single “Checkmate” sounds like a fresh take on the quintessential garage punk-rock sound. The track is as fast and furious from the offset and comes just in time to wrap up the decade, off the heals of last year’s Hot Snakes fourth studio album Jericho Sirens released in March via Sub Pop. Fans can revel in the fact that “Checkmate” is a sign of positive forthcoming material to come, ahead of UK and Ireland tour dates.
“Checkmate” opens with strings that pierce the listener’s ear like a ferocious behemoth ready to attack. The drums approach the track as rapidly pounding to accelerate the track’s already high-octane velocity. The vocals that follow, at the commanding helm of lead singer Rick Froberg, mirror the all encompassing energy “Checkmate” provides. According to a press release, “Checkmate” is “…available now through all digital service providers and will be available directly from the band, in very limited numbers, as a physical 7” at their upcoming shows. The 7” will also include the exclusive b-side ‘Not in Time.'” The exclusivity of the latest musical offering from Hot Snakes give “Checkmate” the elusive edge that is a great promotional hot take in time for the impending year-end holidays.
Hot Snakes’ current touring roster includes Rick Froberg (lead vocals/guitar), Gar Wood (backing vocals/bass), John Reis (backing vocals/guitar) and drummers Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba. As previously reported here on mxdwn, collectively Hot Snakes have worked in the same capacity together but also went through different stages, “Like any good post-hardcore band, Hot Snakes has never been a consistent name. Leading members Rick Froberg and John Reis performed together in Pitchfork from 1986 to 1990, and Drive Like Jehu from 1990 to 1995, before Hot Snakes was formed. The two have continued touring with Drive Like Jehu on and off for reunion concerts during Hot Snakes’ hiatus. Reis has also continued working with the band Rocket from the Crypt on guitar and lead vocals intermittently from 1990 to 2005, 2011, and again since 2013.” To catch a live show from Hot Snakes, as appropriately described in the aforementioned press release, the band “…will kick off a 12-date tour in the UK & Ireland on December 3rd. And, while it might be presumptuous to suggest that Hot Snakes are the single best live band in the world right now, they’re definitely in the top 1.”
Froberg recently described “Checkmate” Hot Snakes’ latest single as “big, fatty content freshly extruded from the Hot Snakes sausage machine. Same ingredients, new flav.”
Hot Snakes UK and Ireland tour dates are as follows:
12/3 – Nottingham, UK – Bodega
12/4 – Manchester, UK – Deaf Institute
12/5 – Newcastle, UK – Cluny
12/6 – Glasgow, UK – Broadcast
12/7 – Belfast, UK – Black Box
12/8 – Dublin, IE – Grand Social
12/10 – Birmingham, UK – Hare & Hound
12/11 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social
12/12 – London, UK – Garage
12/13 – Bristol, UK – Thekla Social
12/14 – Brighton, UK – Patterns
12/15 – Cambridge, UK – Portland Arms
To listen to “Checkmate” stream below, via YouTube.
UPDATE (12/3): Hot Snakes have released a new video for “Checkmate.” See below for the video, which was directed by John Reis & Craig Oliver and features the band members’ faces on tablets being placed into household appliances.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat