Hot Snakes, Suicide Invoice

Full-throttle, straight-up Rock and Roll. Blow-your-mind, wreck-your-house Rock and Roll. This is Rock and Roll. At least, what we think of when we say ‘Rock and Roll’ these days. That’s to say, no—it’s not Elvis. Nevertheless, if I put this album on and looked over at you, you’d look over at me and say, ‘Rock and Roll!’ That, or you’d look over hopefully and ask, ‘Rock and Roll?’ All while knowing full well that, yes, you’re damned right it’s Rock and Roll, and it’s about to tear a hunka-hunka hole right through your neck. And you know I just can’t help you after that.

This is the Hot Snakes and Suicide Invoice is its second album. Risen from the still-smoldering ashes of San Diego punk-rock-luminaries Drive Like Jehu, the Hot Snakes reunite the incomparably tight guitar/vocal duo of John Reis (also of Rocket from the Crypt) and Rick Froberg. The lineup is rounded out by bassist Gar Wood and drummer Jason Kourkounis (from Delta 72). And the sound is searing, gritty, penetrating.

More often than not, it’s a confrontational record—pulling you right into the fray every corner it turns. And there are many: Suicide Invoice is chock full of indelible, unforgettable songs. The driving, scorched-earth title track. The invective ‘Paid in Cigarettes.’ The somber, elegant—and raucous—‘Paperwork’ (with its oddly Mick-Jagger-esque vocals).

Suicide Invoice is a modern essential. For those about to rock, it should be to this.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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