Hookworms
Microshift


4.0
excellent

Review

by former sputnik's home post-punk maester USER (86 Reviews)
February 6th, 2018 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I'm fine, I promise...

A lot can be said about Hookworms’ quirkiness and seemingly fun-loving nature, what with all those glitch-like production decisions, psychedelic atmosphere, upbeat vibes and jolly song-writing. It is the first logical conclusion. All the apparent, in-your-face goofiness and joyous attitude simply makes you believe in the album’s inherent positivity, especially given how vibrant and electrifying some of the harder-hitting moments are. But one listen after another I kept coming off of this feeling a slight unease. There was just this distant sense of hidden pain and disillusionment behind walls of merry good time fun moods and the waterfalls of twee eccentricity.

There shouldn’t be any doubt about the happy-go-lucky nature of the record, and yet as the opener “Negative Space” starts incorporating the vocals, suddenly you feel a distant desperation and urgency within. A cry for help only proven by the heartbreaking lyrics.

”In a negative space, I wanna leave it
Turn around right as you're leaving
The cruel mistake, I can't believe it
You can't trust now that you're not breathing”

“Static Resistance” is the cut, where the vocals gain on intensity and explosive despair, while “Ullswater” presents itself as more of a grounded pop effort. Although both of these songs have moments that encapsulate the masked chagrin like the opener, but it is first “The Soft Season” that actually fully delves into it, but now not even hiding the sorrow. It is the most sombre and quiet song on the album and the distraught vibes on it are simply salient. But that kind of aesthetic is repeated on the album, be it on echoic and ethereal “Each Time We Pass” or on peaceful and blissful “Reunion”. But those don’t have the negative underlying merit to them and come off more as at peace and in soulful balance.

Really, everything after the charming “The Soft Season” and the more aggressive and frisky “Opener” seems like it suddenly grew out of its initial hidden sadness that was so apparent on the first half of the album. Each song after is rather relaxed and lyrically tranquil, mostly going into a little less explosive dynamic and more into poppy, almost shoegaze direction. It creates a certain narrative of someone first pretending to be okay, but really being absolutely broken inside, but eventually coming in terms with the sorrow and learning to move on. But move on he did only by becoming phlegmatic and apathetic due to fatigue the previous sorrow caused him, as the lyrics on the closing track, “Shortcomings”, do suggest: “Found a way to love around. I am tired out” and the frequent refraining chants “Disconnection, disconnection”. It is a full tale of all stages of grief in every musical form.

P.S.: Is it just the Spotify version that has a defect or is “Boxing Day” actually literally unfinished"



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user ratings (26)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Papa Universe
February 6th 2018


11965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

had to put it out there before DoofusWainwrights of the world got their hands on it

Digging: Ought - Room Inside The World

Lucid
February 6th 2018


9035 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This was a generic poppy rock album, can hardly understand why there's any hype surrounding it. Bar chart seems to agree with me.

danielcardoso
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2018


11680 Comments


I only listened to it once but i'm inclined to agree, Lucid.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2018


17696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good album but not the sort to inspire a Doof review Uni



Not sure what album will inspire that in 2018, we shall see



Think this is solid all the way through, second half might even be stronger, I definitely start the album at ‘Opener’ a lot of the time to mix it up.



As I said in the soundoff, some 2009 AnCo in that sound palette



Digging: Cat Power - Moon Pix

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 6th 2018


17696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

‘Boxing Day’ cuts out in edgy style on purpose

Dewinged
February 7th 2018


8242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good first impression, let's see how it holds up.



Nice review Uni. Pos'd.

Digging: Polica / s t a r g a z e - Music For The Long Emergency

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 7th 2018


17696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Strongest album I've listened to so far in 2018 although that's not saying too much



I'd rather listen to these dudes than Tame Impala but that's just probably me



Weak spot? Vocal tone and some of the vocal melodies are too bland.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2018


17696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

‘Each Time We Pass’is the best AnCo song of the last five or six years.

DoofusWainwright
Contributing Reviewer
February 12th 2018


17696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

‘Shortcomings’ would have been the second best tune on ‘Currents’ too

kylemccluskey
February 14th 2018


168 Comments


Is it just me or does 'Boxing Day' end abruptly af? It's my favourite track on here and it just cuts to nothing out of nowhere, but the track-length makes is the same as I see on Bandcamp.

Papa Universe
February 14th 2018


11965 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"P.S.: Is it just the Spotify version that has a defect or is “Boxing Day” actually literally unfinished?"

kylemccluskey
February 14th 2018


168 Comments


Oh shit, I read this before I listened to it, so that comment when in one ear and out the other when I first saw it. It's too bad, though, such a good track until the cut-off point

Cifirni
February 21st 2018


9 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dig it. Average should be higher but idk this site seems to rate things a bit oddly or things get bombed by stans of other genres.

Digging: Ezra Furman - Transangelic Exodus



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