Hot Snakes – Suicide Invoice

Hot Snakes
Suicide Invoice

Hot Snakes are a punk-rock supergroup of sorts with Rick Froeberg (vocals, guitar, from Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu), John Reis (guitar, backing vocals, from Rocket from the Crypt, Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu), Gar Wood (bass, organ, backing vocals) and Jason Kourkounis (drums, from Delta 72). The Hot Snakes specialize in straight-ahead rock with a lot of attitude. Froeberg’s vocals aren’t as in your face and angry as on the band’s previous album, Automatic Midnight, here opting for a calmer tone but still with the aggresive edge. There are many influences brought in from other projects, but mixed together to create very unique rock and roll. The Hot Snakes set out to rock and rock hard, without a lot of pretense and flash.
“I Hate The Kids” starts off with stabbing guitars and whining keyboard with strong, in-your-face vocals. This song is an aggresive kick in the mouth with screaming keyboards from Wood and Kourkounis viciously attacking his drum kit. “Gar Forgot His Insulin” is a humorous blast of punk attitude that incorporates biting guitars and a low end that sounds like stampeding bulls. “XOX” is another straight-forward punch in the mouth that most reflects the influence of Black Flag on the band. Froeberg is in top form here with his spitting vocal attack, and there is some tremendous simple guitar work by Reis.
“Who Died” is a furious sonic attack, with a charging rhythm section and strong lead and backing vocals. “LAX” is driven along by crunching guitars and driving, whistling keyboards underneath. “Bye Nancy Boy” is an angry crunching 80’s hardcore punk influenced (ie. Black Flag, Minor Threat) blast. Froeberg again puts in a good aggresive vocal performance competing for space with the driving guitars.
“Paperwork” is a great song and performanc by everyone involved, with surging keyboard work and driving Metal stlyed guitar work. “Why Does It Hurt” combines the pounding guitars and charging keyboard with simmering vocals to great affect. “Unlisted” is a blasting piece of glory with the guitars pulling at each other to go in different directions. Froeberg uses a calmer tone to get the lyrics across just as aggresively as on the other songs, and is helped by some great backing vocals.
The Hot Snakes have a true rock album on their hands that will be hard to top for whoever will try. They mix their aggresive, pounding music with extremely enjoyable melodies that will have you singing along. This is full of straight-ahead rock that hardly slows down and sets out out to kick some butt, which it does successfuly. There is no let up in the music and sound; they are going to force themselves upon you, and you should be thankful for that fact. This is a biting, spitting, and snarling rock and roll record that can’t and shouldn’t be missed since there are very few with as much spirit and attitude being made.