Review: Hot Snakes

Hot Snakes
“Suicide Invoice”
(Swami Records)

Let me tell you a story. It was a warm Friday night, and my good friend Jesus (that’s ‘Hey-zoos’, not that dead son of God) and I were hanging out with another friend of mine (Arrow, ex member of Loophole) in north San Diego somewhere. Actually, it wasn’t really hanging, more like smoking. There’s a cozy, secluded canyon spot right next to Arrow’s dad’s house that we would trek up and blaze, so by the time we leave we’re completely baked. So, on this Friday night we happened to be extremely baked on some excellent kind (stoner talk), and Arrow suggested we stop by his friend Gar’s house. Not too many people named Gar, so I asked if it was the Drive Like Jehu member. He nodded, and we piled back into Arrow’s little hatchback for the five minute ride over. We arrived at Gar’s house around 10pm, and took a final toke before we went inside. Sitting in the passenger seat, I finished my portion of the smoke with my head looking downwards, and as I did that, I heard a light tapping on the window. I looked up and to the right, and there was ex-president Richard Nixon’s face directly on the other side of the window. Right at that moment, Nixon starting screaming and smacking both fists against the window, frightening me so badly that I practicly enhaled the pipe. This was the day I met Gar Wood, past member of Drive Like Jehu and currently plays the bass with ex-Drive Like Jehu members Rick Froberg and John Reis (also of Rocket from the Crypt) in Hot Snakes who apparently likes to freak people out while wearing a Richard Nixon mask.

Where the band Drive Like Jehu suceeded in (with the help of excellent drumming by Mark Trambino) angle’s like wayward song schmatics and a mistical indie flavor unprecidented and really some of the best genius in music that I’ve expierenced (yeah, I liked Jehu a lot) is heavily swirled in with a little bit of Tanner (of which Gar was guitarist/vocalist for) and a pinch of RFTC; a good combination of brains and brawn. What’s scary is how much this is really DrivelikeTannerfromtheCrypt; excellent flow and song structure, along with some mid-anger songs like “I Hate the Kids” make this an excellent followup to their debut, “Automatic Midnight”.

Go buy this. And stay away from Gar’s house.