Hookworms has been terrorizing headlining bands across northern England (as support with Wooden Shjips, Sun Araw and Peaking Lights), and beyond through sheer sonic velocity and emotive intent. The reel feels cathartic, each fresh revolution of the loop a confrontation between the band and themes of depression, loss and anger – subjects close to the heart of the group’s vocalist MJ.
Pearl Mystic is an absolutely thunderous statement of intent for Hookworms (MJ – vox/keys/analogues; JW – guitarist, SS – guitarist; MB – bass; JN – drums). After a portentous couple of years of live shows and limited releases, a debut self-titled EP initially came out on cassette for Sun Araw’s Sun Ark label. Soon after, there was a vinyl release on Faux Discx/Gringo Records. Both sold out. During this time their live shows continued to increase in intensity, cementing their reputation treading the boards.
Live and on record, like Spaceman 3, they pointedly subvert the tripped out sound environments of psychedelia with a darkly malevolent punk menace; unlike J.Spaceman et al, there’s no chemical assistance, these concepts and feelings come with clarity.
A relationship lost, a battle with depression, and as MJ puts it “a half-hearted suicide attempt” are running narratives throughout the album. Tracks like ‘Away/Towards’ possess an infectious energy that juxtaposes with a subtext of a bi-polar approach to coping with loss. “Preservation”, too, is in keeping with the group’s live shows, though deals with existentialism, whilst several Raymond Carver influences are scattered in and among the bold textures of sound. “In Our Time” is inspired by hill MJ would cycle up near Otley in Yorkshire after the break up to catch his favorite view in the world
The record was recorded and produced in MJ’s own Suburban Studios – where he’s worked on records for Mazes, Eagulls and Spectrals and more.
Indeed, the most impressive thing about Hookworms is that, through this torrent of emotion, there’s always the sense that they’re in control of it all, so committed are they to this catharsis that they refuse to throw any of it to chance.
Stay tuned for more information on Hookworms US show dates.
PEARL MYSTIC COVER ART
PEARL MYSTIC TRACKLIST
01. Away / Towards
02. Form and Function
04. In Our Time
05. Since We Had Changed
08. What We Talk About