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I dare you to type Hookworms into Google. What you will be treated with is a selection of images that will be enough to make you bring up your dinner. A Hookworm is a parasite that feeds off its chosen host, making them weaker and itself stronger; what an awfully fitting reference. Hookworms are a band that beat their audience down to the ground with noise, repetition and psychedelics. As their audience gets lulled into a state of confusion whereby they are unaware of which way is up and which way is down, Hookworms make their bass stronger, bounce their vocals around and create a tornado of sound that will suddenly and unexpectedly knock you off your feet.
Does this all sound slightly unfair? Being aurally abused by a band who have named themselves after something that may live in your intestines? Of course not. Because what Hookworms promise to bring to the stage is more than music; it is a cataclysm of sound itself, a ripping up of the rule book and a set of pure escapism.
The band hail from Leeds, a place where a new music act seems to pop up every hour, but Hookworms are different to other various incarnations of sound. For example, their first EP was released on cassette tape- an interesting choice as I think 95% of people have longed ditched their trusty tape recorder in favour of something slightly more 21st Century. You cannot help but respect their decision however, as it makes you think; it is only the people who really want to listen to their music who will go out, dig out a device to play the tape on, get some new batteries and sit back ready to revel in 8 minute tracks that will make them seriously wig out.
Catch Hookworms on Saturday at Supersonic Festival. For more information or tickets visit www.supersonicfestival.com
British mavericks Hey Colossus are one of the country’s most overlooked musical exports, with a fearlessly experimental and thrillingly visceral sound that occasionally sounds like Fudge Tunnel and Faust having a full-on fist fight whilst the Butthole Surfers jeer them on and hurl vintage loop pedals into the ensuing fracas. They’ve previously released splits with Nottingham’s riff worshippers Lords and Tokyo’s sludge lunatics dot(.), and their new 12″ (the awesomely titled ‘Witchfinder General Hospital’), is a bleary eyed kraut-noise odyssey deep into the heart of the sun, culminating in a gigantic sonic fireball as the group burns into a million tiny cinders upon impact. Put quite simply, this is a band you need in your life right now! Hey Colossus are currently preparing to ransack your grey matter with their performance at Supersonic on Friday 19th October, so we caught up with guitarist Joe Thompson to ask him a few questions about what you can expect…
Supersonic: Your new record (‘Witchfinder General Hospital’) is fantastic – is the title a loving tribute to the 1968 British horror film or the early 80’s NWOBHM band from Stourbridge (or neither?)
Joe Thompson: It’s where we all work aside from Dunc’, who is a butcher.
Why should Supersonic attendees check out your set?
We’re quite the party band, get yer glad rags on.
If time, money and space were no object, what would you do with your performance?
Get Mark E Smith to do our onstage sound.
Who else are you looking forward to seeing at the festival this year?
Drunk In Hell + Grey Hairs.
Who would be the ideal artist for you to collaborate with at Supersonic 2012?
Walter Hill needs to let us re-record, note for note, The Warriors Soundtrack. We’ll be back next year to perform it.
If you were curating Supersonic, which three artists would you most want to have on board?
Brainbombs, Carly Simon, Tusson.
Which items would you say are essential for festival survival?
Blankety Blank chequebook + pen.
Finally, what does the future have in store for Hey Colossus?
New album in March, shows in March and April. Book us, especially if you do shows in hot countries.
Hey Colossus will perform at Supersonic Festival on Friday 19th October 2012, and their new 12″ ‘Witchfinder General’ is available now from One C Records.
As if the Supersonic lineup wasn’t spectacular enough this year, Manchester’s finest psych-rock collective Gnod have just been confirmed for another mind melting sonic showdown! Supersonic regulars will already be familiar with these guys (especially if you caught their transcendental performance back in 2010), but if you’re a Gnod newcomer, their extensive discography of splits, CD-Rs and limited edition releases can seem a little daunting. To help ease you into the band’s majestic psychedelic sounds, here’s our quick guide to some of the band’s highlights to prepare you for their live ritual, and your subsequent sonic baptism…
The Somnambulist’s Tale (Sloow Tapes 2008)
This early sonic voyage found Gnod experimenting with the textures and harmonics of the hung drum, layering these ethereal, mystical sounds with lucid snippets of an interview with a particularly intoxicated individual, creating an otherworldly aural tapestry and slowly lulling the listener into a lysergic dream-state. A truly bizarre yet strangely relaxing listening experience!
Bong / Gnod Split (Box Records 2009)
After a string of extremely hard-to-track-down CD-R releases, Gnod teamed up with sitar pluckin’ doom lords Bong for this extravagant odyssey into the unknown. After Bong’s aptly titled ‘Bong Lives’ has sent your psyche spinning uncontrollably into a black hole the size of the Gobi desert, the 13 minutes of Gnod’s ‘Twin Within’ offer an experience similar to watching Amon Düül II perform at the Taj Mahal in a blotter fuelled haze, whilst the two part ‘Abstehen’ unfolds with a certain mystical tranquility that can’t fail to captivate even the most discerning acid rock afficionado. Gnod’s cosmic freakouts provide the perfect counterpoint to Bong’s distinctive style of free form lysergic hypnotism, resulting in a truly great split indeed.
Gnod & White Hills – Gnod Drop Out With White Hills II (Rocket Recordings 2010)
Seeing as their first collaborative release with New York’s most glamorous cosmic voyagers White Hills was such a success, it was only a matter of time before these two psych behemoths crossed paths again. This release finds both bands drifting downstream into more serene waters than their last record, as blissed out guitar licks and lazy, rolling bass lines trickle across luscious soundscapes to glorious effect. A beautifully restrained and incredibly engaging record, no psych-rock fan’s record collection should be without this!
In Gnod We Trust (Rocket Recordings 2011)
‘In Gnod We Trust’ found the band venturing even further into their collective psyche, with the dark, sumptuous pulse of ‘Tony’s First Communion’ coming across like krautrock’s heavily sedated, velvet lined younger cousin. This hypnotic and slowly evolving piece is the perfect counterpoint to ‘Vatican’, a spiritual excursion with an absolutely enormous groove that throbs it’s way through the cosmos before reaching a potently apocalyptic climax.
Chaudelande Volume 2 (Tamed Records 2012)
Gnod’s most recent release represents the second half of the band’s triumphant session at Studio Chaudelande in France (the first half is compiled in the aptly titled ‘Chaudelande Volume 1’), and finds the band in full-on, no nonsense astral rock mode. If the Stooges stole the keys to Hawkwind’s spaceship, weighted the accelerator down with a brick and took off on a hedonistic thrill ride through the universe, the outcome would probably sound extremely similar to this triumphant record!
You can purchase these recordings from Gnod’s official website and the Rocket Recordings site, and it’s a safe bet that the band will be bringing along a number of limited releases to sell at the festival too. In addition to releasing a staggering ammount of fantastic recordings, Gnod really excel in the live arena, and if you enjoy elongated psychedelic experiences that build to an explosive crescendo of ecstatic noise (which I’m guessing is pretty much all of you, right?) then their set this year is not to be missed under any circumstances!
The word about Goat’s startling debut album ‘World Music’ has been spreading through the music press like wildfire recently, and rightly so; the record is a vibrant concoction of psych-rock histrionics, defiant afro-beat swagger, tribal Voodoo magic and crunchy garage punk stomp. Imagine if Fela Kuti had accompanied Can circa 1972 on an intrepid, hallucinogen fuelled expedition into the heart of the Amazon jungle and you’ll be somewhere near the right ballpark, but ‘World Music’ truly is a trip that must be experienced for one’s self – it’s kind of like the musical equivalent of a Shamanic, ayahuasca based rite of passage.
But just who are these mysterious folk responsible for this gloriously eclectic aural odyssey? According to their press release, the band hails from the tiny, remote village of Korpilombolo in Sweden. Apparently Korpilombolo has had a long history of Voodoo worship, which informs Goat’s music and hangs over the village to this day. Living out in a nearby commune, Goat consists of 3 core members but is an ever-evolving and adaptable entity, existing in some form or another for centuries as a traditional communal practice and only now venturing out into the wide world of popular music.
Whether you believe their tales or not, I’d wager your interest is certainly piqued right now. Shenanigans and questionable backstory aside, there’s no denying the righteous funky fury of their music -‘World Music’ is one of the freshest and most absorbing listens of the year so far. Their first ventures into the live arena (well, outside their commune, of course) are bound to be revelatory rituals; the band has claimed in recent interviews that the live experience will be much more expansive and free-form than their recorded debut, leading us to believe that there truly will be some kind of Voodoo magic summoned during their set at Supersonic…!