Hot Snakes
Automatic Midnight


4.0
excellent

Review

by Iron Bug USER (2 Reviews)
May 5th, 2006 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


Hot Snakes was formed in 1999 by John Reis (whom also was is RFTC) and Rick Froburg of Drive Like Jehu, Mario Rubalcaba of Rocket From The Crypt fame along with Gar Wood of Beehive and the Barracudas .Their first release "Automatic Midnight" paved the way for an amazing (And underrated) band.

Automatic Midnight (AM) starts with "If Credits What Matters I'll Take Credit", and immediately you can hear the blend of post-punk and garage band sound in the guitar and drums. Very quickly Reis throws in his classic and distinguishing yell. A crunching guitar riff accompanies his voice giving the song a dance like feel. The song ends nicely with the feedback helping to fade Reis's voice out to set up the next track.

Track two is the title track of AM, starting only with a lone guitar riff, it anticipates the defiant "Come On!" that Reis yells just seconds later as the rest of the band fills in. The three-chord shows that they know their roots. The slight keyboard sounds are a nice touch during the chorus. The only problem with this track is that it seems to short.

"No Hands" follows as track three starts again with a lone guitar before the obscure lyrics chime in, "Yeah cut 'em off/I could do this with stumps/Hands off me/I know I can do without". The guitar work seems stand out in this track, with many light touches on the chord changes that make it a pleasure to listen too.

"Salton City" starts as keyboard noises ring about followed by a catchy drumbeat to start the song off. The bass follows with a simple line before the vocals come in. The guitar jumps around as group vocals sing the chorus of "Give us a kiss". The song ends nicely with a nice clunky guitar.

A guitar fades in for the fifth song "10th Planet" as another guitar taps chords in anticipation for the drums and vocals. The guitar is slightly poppy and catchy but it can't seem to hold my attention for to long. It picks it-self up with a change of tempo and a nice ending.

As track six begins with two guitars emphasizing the garage band influence and even sounding Ramones-esque. "Light Up The Stars" goes through its motions very well; the verses are catchy with good lyrics to attract the instruments, while the chorus is the exact opposite, with the instruments adding on to Reis's lyrical abilities.

The drumming starts off "Our Work Fills The Pews" nicely. This track sounds like it's straight out of an early Rocket From The Crypt album, with catchy background vocals and Reis monotone moans scattered around the song. Definitely a stand out track.

"Past Lives" seems like a bit of a filler track, kind of blending in with the rest of the album. What stands out most is the humorous lyrics, "Straight outta the mouth of a rat/I've got my mouth in the lap/Of a girl I've been seeing in my dreams".

Another track thatís reminiscent of RFTC, "Mystery Boy" starts with a short drum roll and then straight into a shaky verse. The catchy guitar work in the bridges put a nice touch on parts of the song, as well as hints of keyboard. But again, it seems like this song is over too soon.

An instrumental track "Apartment 0" starts and pretty much keeps the same beat up for most of the song, it's short so it's not much to worry about and acts as a setup for the final track.

"Let It Come" ends AM as it blasts its way quickly through your ears with everything Hot Snakes have. Little change-ups in the guitar and instrumental intermissions between vocals lengthen the song without making it unbearable. It ends nicely with the statement, "The message from the management says you gotta go/America will settle for less".

Overall, Automatic Midnight is a great album, but drags along in some places, while falls short in others.

Stand Out Tracks
If Credits What Matters I'll Take Credit
Mystery Boy
Let It Come
Salton City
Our Work Fills The Pews

http://www.hotsnakes.com/


user ratings (50)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
AlienEater
May 6th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hot Snakes rule. I've never heard this, but I have the other two. I find that Suicide Invoice is the better of the two
Both Rick and John were in Drive Like Jehu, as well as Pitchfork.This Message Edited On 05.06.06

Med57
Moderator
May 6th 2006


1001 Comments


Drive Like Jehu were better than Hot Snakes, but Hot Snakes are still a very good band. This is a good album...catchy as hell, and something that fans of the genre should definitely take out.

XxcheetoxX
May 6th 2006


78 Comments


No Hands is the best song on the album by far.

kno_kontrol
May 6th 2006


448 Comments


This review was pretty good, although at times you ventured into "blow-by-blow" territory, which doesnt help anyone reading it very much. Describing the instrumentals in great detail doesnt really do much but kind of ruin any unexpected qualities of the album. Its good enough for a positive vote. Try to describe more of the overall feeling of the tracks (catchy, caustic, happy, sad, energetic, low-key, etc etc) and you could have a really great review.

As for Hot Snakes, I havent heard them personally, but I like Rocket From The Crypt, so I might download this album.

Iron Bug
May 6th 2006


2 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the citisism, it's greatly appreciated.

AlienEater
May 7th 2006


716 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So, it turns out me pop has this on vinyl. It gets 4/5 on the strength of a single listen

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 2nd 2009


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this.

Goatlord
January 3rd 2012


405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing record. Definitely one of the records I've listened to the most over the years.

Goatlord
January 3rd 2012


405 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Amazing record. Definitely one of the records I've listened to the most over the years.

EaglesBecomeVultures
January 18th 2013


5245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

RULES!

Digging: The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended With Gold

MutnikSpusic
April 26th 2013


560 Comments


well, Froberg sings. Reis only does a few "ah-ah"-s and the vox on mystery boy.

EaglesBecomeVultures
April 26th 2013


5245 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

word

ezzomania
July 20th 2013


383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is pretty good

WeepingBanana
March 31st 2014


10159 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i think i like suicide invoice more but this is a jam for sure

Cygnatti
May 10th 2014


21352 Comments


bump

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy