Hookworms - Live Vol III

by Ian Fraser Rating:7 Release Date:2015-11-04

Now here’s a titanic Trans-Pennine hook-up (yeah, sorry about that) of mouth-watering expectation if ever there was, as Leeds’ hottest musical property descend on Islington Mill in Salford, the arts complex synonymous with the equally but differently exciting Gnod in a  Northern Powerhouse meets Northern Bauhaus juxtaposition.

Consisting of nine tracks and drawing heavily from last year’s The Hum, they include the two singles -“On Leaving” and “Radio Tokyo” - which they get out of the way early on. However we start with cheap cola and cooking speed adrenalin of “The Impasse” which quickly establishes as the central focus one MJ on keyboards and lead voice. Now our M’s dog whistle register tends to polarise opinion, really some people don’t get it. Well I’m with the yay not the nay sayers, I find it adds to an already urgent and acerbic mix, an occasionally brattish yelp that has you wondering whether in fact he also moonlights as the guy from Japanese band Bo Ningen – also much recommended pop pickers.

The singles duly done and dusted “The Correspondent” (from the Psych For Sore Eyes compilation) has a gloriously woozy, strung-out quality while “Beginners” (The Hum again) is both an atmospheric and frenetic stand-out guaranteed to send the mosh pit mental. They even chuck in a cover Velvet Underground’s “I’m Not A Young Man Anymore” (hey Ma, they’re playing my song). It’s all nominally psychedelia, which these days is such a broad church it’s having to meet in portakabins out back, but this owes more to high velocity Freakbeat cut with Northern Soul as well as revealing a dark Velvety underbelly and  a twist of Modern Lovers with some synth bubbles chucked in for a bit of lippy.

Not even the golden wristband could get me past the queues at Liverpool Psych Fest recently, more’s the pity. This must be the next best thing, then. Onwards/upwards and Away/Towards. Yes that’s on there too.

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