The Hum

Release Date
The gist Frantic second album from Leeds' finest The music Last year's Pearl Mystic seemed to creep up on people, taking many by surprise with its blistering energy and swagger, a year on, album two has arrived, so will it still pack the same punch? The answer (and I only really needed to listen to the first ten seconds or so of The Hum to come to this conclusion) is a resounding YES. Opening track "The Impasse" is like an adrenaline shot, it's the band shaking us around and screaming "look what you've been missing!". Things calm down a bit from there but it's as immediate as they come for an opening salvo. The rest of the record sees the band playing with hypnotic synths and dirty Rock n Roll to achieve a thoroughly exhilarating sound, and one I haven't seen accomplished so successfully since the heyday of Primal Scream. I'm talking about the live XTRMNTR Primal Scream, where everything was pushed to its sonic limits, often with chaotic, breathtaking results. MJ's keyboards are always simmering away on this album (they even take centre stage on its 3 instrumental interludes "iv", "v" and "vi"), and whilst never going full on electro, it is certainly a key ingredient in Hookworms impressive sound. The same, mysterious MJ also provides vocals and should take much of the credit for a relentlessly energetic and genuinely exciting performance. The main thing I took away from The Hum though is that I really want to see them live. Not because they haven't captured something wonderful here, but because these tracks are just itching to be played live. A ballsy and, most importantly, progressive second album from one of Britain's great new hopes. Listen to "On Leaving" - just what you need after the aural enslught of the opening track. An instant come down. "Beginners" - the mid-point and probable high point of The Hum is a perfect mix of rage and calm, spread throughout an expansive 6m36s. "Off Screen" - starts off gently and builds to a guitar-crunching peak before eventually breaking down into a space rock odyssey complete with Spiritualized synths and perfectly restrained drums (courtesy of new recruit JN) Listen if... you like Spiritualized, Primal Scream, Mazes