Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song comes from UK psych rock band Hookworms. “Form and Function” hails from their debut LP Pearl Mystic, out this week on Gringo.
Hookworms have been stirring up a ruckus in Leeds since late 2011. They intentionally baffle press from getting any information on them. Their names in all press statements and their Facebook are limited to initials and their band description on Gringo has been left blank. Their style is decidedly all over the place (they called themselves “freakbeat” when talking to Guardian a year or so ago), mixing American southern rock tendency with space rock for a weird and winding psychic journey. Their new record, Pearl Mystic is a grab bag of emotional ups and downs with a stark difference between each track. The resulting product is a fresh and exciting sound that sets them apart from their geographic predecessors. But here’s what you wanted to here: on second track “Form and Function”, Hookworms let free a brutal, unhinged psych rock fury that sets a strikingly high bar for the rest of the record, and today, “Form and Function” is Hookworms’ glorious and gory gift to us.
Opening with a heavy handed organ a la Dead Weather, Hookworms rapidly pick up the energy into a driving resound. The backing vocal echo and the animal energy on the track echo classic American rock. If the size of the track wasn’t so massive, you might mistake it for Lynyrd Skynyrd or Boston. But with the build comes a message that’s far too current to be from the 70’s – something along the lines of “there’s nowhere to run to” and whatnot. The blistering heat from this apocalypse of a rock song might toast your stereo, especially when we get to the Iron Maiden-esque “so COME ON!!!” around the 3 minute mark. As you can tell, “Form and Function” isn’t super heavy on the lyrical message. All it is is the most kickass rock tune you’ve heard in quite a while, and if you like headbanging until your neck gives out, you’d best download the track. It’s almost 6 minutes of pure, unadulterated rock and roll – something is is sadly a bit too hard to come by these days.
Hookworms only currently listed dates are in the UK right now, but check their Facebook page for future shows and to listen to more music. If you like today’s featured song, be sure to check out “In Our Time”, also from the new album: