Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Snakes (hot and not on a plane)

Play it: Hot Snakes - Thunder Down Under
Play it: John Reis/Rick Froberg Sampler

Last year it was announced that Hot Snakes was calling it quits, and this post-humous release, Thunder Down Under (which, my wife informs me, is an Aussie male stripper ensemble that performs often in Vegas,) does well to document their powerful live sound. Recorded live in Australia for ABC (the Aussie one,) it's tough to distinguish vs. a studio recording without being familiar with the originals (that's how good their live shows were.)

John Reis and Rick Froberg have been playing together in various bands now for nearly 20 years. In 1987, the San Diego teens formed the post-hardcore Pitchfork which in 1990 evolved into shortlived and much loved Drive Like Jehu. That cult band only lasted two albums, with Reis dedicating more time to his other band Rocket From The Crypt. Both Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu served as the West coast blueprint to the (now much confused) genre Emo, although they receive very little credit (and probably wouldn't want to ask for it now that bands like Fall Out Boy and Yellowcard are considered emo.)

In 1999, with Rocket From The Crypt mostly having run it's schtick-laden course, Reis approached Froberg again for an unnamed project with songs (that would become the basis of the album Automatic Midnight,) and Hot Snakes was born. The discordant guitars and Frobergs singi/scream make it unmistakably a Froberg/Reis affair, but this time out they were a bit more primal and succint. Hot Snakes released three proper albums, the best of which was 2004's Audit in Progress, and they also happened to be John Peel's last recorded session before his passing that year (recording, Peel Sessions, released last year.)

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drake leLane said...

Hot Snakes Thunder Down Under

1. Braintrust (Album (Explicit))
2. Hi-Lites
3. Retrofit
4. XOX
5. Think About Carbs
6. LAX
7. Plenty For All
8. Who Died
9. Suicide Invoice
10. Kreative Kontrol
11. Rock N' Roll Will Never Die
12. US Mint
13. Let It Come

drake leLane said...

John Reis/Rick Froberg Sampler

* "Thin Ice" - Pitchfork
* "Placebo" - Pitchfork
* "Caress" - Drive Like Jehu
* "Spikes To You" - Drive Like Jehu
* "Bullet Train to Vegas (live)" - Drive Like Jehu
* "If Credit's What Matters, I'll Take Credit" - Hot Snakes
* "Who Died" - Hot Snakes
* "Paid In Cigarettes" - Hot Snakes
* "Retrofit" - Hot Snakes
* "Audit In Progress" - Hot Snakes
* "This Mystic Decade" - Hot Snakes
* "Braintrust" - Hot Snakes