Album Review: Microshift by Hookworms

Posted by Bianca on Friday Feb 2, 2018 Under Album Review

Album Review by Toni Woodward

This is the third album offering from the five piece psychedelic punk outfit, which is due out in early February on Domino records and to say it’s a radical departure from 2014’s The Humm would be an understatement.

Hookworms‘ sound previously epitomised darkness and depression expressed through dissonance and well-crafted cacophony whereas Microshift is a transformation into the more palatable realms of electro-indie rock. The title of the opening track, Negative Space, suggests that this album isn’t one of overwhelming positivity despite the more upbeat essence to the music which is evidenced by the desolate searching lyrical content. The gradual build up of synths and beats wouldn’t be out of place on an LCD Soundsystem track, producing a crescendo of grand, rich, vast layers that lay down the depth of sound that is to flow throughout the album. Furthermore, being nearly seven minutes long, Hookworms have not totally abandoned their psych tendencies by allowing songs the length required to ensure they are given the space to be effectively and creatively dynamic. This is in contrast to Boxing Day that sits at a little over two minutes, embracing the raucous distortion and punk ethic that Hookworms also embrace.

Album Review Microshift by Hookworms

The transition between songs has been well-thought out and has resulted in a complete piece of work that swirls around a pit of emotion, ranging from the tranquility of The Soft Season to the bass driven questioning of Shortcomings where MJ divulges his inner concerns.

The epic middle track, Opener, starts with an indulgent three and a half minute introduction laying down the catchy repetitive keyboard riff that reemerges throughout the song creating a coherence without crossing the line into the obvious and illustrates the band’s songwriting abilities in whatever genre they choose to explore. Microshift appears to draw on influences from the early 2000s, including bands such as Animal Collective and MGMT blurred with more contemporary artists such a Kite Base resulting in a slightly dated feel to the record.

For many Hookworms fans, I can imagine this album being too different from their previous work, however, I would urge you to listen to Microshift as if it was one track rather than dipping in and out. It is a symphony that is made up of a number of different movements which make more musical sense in an entirety rather than segments and will slowly draw you in.

Microshift – released 2nd February 2018

Hookworms 2018 Tour Dates:

Friday 23rd February – Liverpool – Invisible Wind Factory
Saturday 24th February – Brighton – Patterns
Sunday 4th March – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Sunday 18th March – Newcastle – The Cluny
Saturday 24th March – London – Electric Brixton
Sunday 25th March – Sheffield – Picture House Social

One Response to “Album Review: Microshift by Hookworms”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Father John Misty + Edwyn Collins + Hookworms + The Orielles at The Piece Hall, Halifax, UK – 26th May 2018 Says:

    […] warned they were a bit of an acquired taste, but I found them thoroughly enjoyable. Latest album Microshift is well worth a listen and is apparently their most accessible work to date. I’ll be checking […]

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