Hot Snakes

Jericho Sirens

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AllMusic Review by

Jericho Sirens is the first Hot Snakes album in 14 years and it comes blasting out of the gate like a bull with murder in his bloodshot eyes. The leadoff track, "I Need a Doctor," is a thrilling declaration that the band is back and as mighty as they were before. John "Speedo" Reis and Rick Froberg's dual guitar attack, Gar Wood's pummeling bass, and the dual drum attack of Jason Kourkounis and Mario Rubalcaba combine to knock the breath out of the listener, while Froberg's howling vocals pick them up off the floor and slap them around. The rest of Jericho Sirens follows the same tough-as-nails template and it's not only a great comeback, it's the best album the combo has made yet. Previous albums from the 2000s were full of fire, intense guitar work, and vigorous songs, but this one ratchets everything up a notch or two. It sounds like all the energy and passion the band built up while members were off doing their own things was stored up for this exact occasion. The album hits like a hammer and never lets up. Even the songs with huge hooks, like "Six Wave Hold-Down" or the rollicking title track, bury the needle deep in the red; the songs with the snappiest riffs and punchiest rhythms ("Death Camp Fantasy" and "Death Doula") are unremittingly dark; and the songs that let up the tiniest bit to let some air into the mix ("Death of a Sportsman" with its organ and melodica breakdown) have the knockout punch of a champ. The sound is clean and raw throughout, Froberg's shredded vocals are out front where they should be, the guitars sound sharp enough to cut cardboard, and the rhythm section has all the power of a team of horses. Jericho Sirens is rock & roll in its purest form; angry, white-hot, and overloaded with energy. It's good to have Hot Snakes back to show the posers and fakers how to do things the right way.

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