A reissue of a 7 track expanded version of Hookworms 2011 self-titled debut EP off the back of two critically acclaimed albums - 2013's Pearl Mystic on Gringo and 2014's The Hum released worldwide on Domino arm Weird World - is both a marker from where Leeds five-piece have subsequently hurtled forwards from, but also a document and proof of the undeniable character that they've never allowed to waver even as all around them has changed.
The EP contains the first tracks the group ever recorded in vocalist and producer MJ's original Suburban Home Studio, with the group just a handful of local shows into their existence one such show, supporting Sun Araw lead to its original release. "It was a very exciting time for us," bassist MB recalls. "MJ having his first studio meant we'd gone from practicing in a tiny basement and receiving noise complaints to having a place where we could do what we wanted. We played with Sun Araw just as we were finishing the EP and Cameron Stallones enjoyed our set and asked to hear any recordings - then subsequently released it on cassette."
Hookworms have long since evolved into a mighty beast, live able to fill cavernous warehouses with a vitriolic form of kosmiche, as when headlining Liverpool Psych Fest, or when supporting fuzzy legends Slowdive during their 2014 comeback. Hookworms as a listen though already has in place several of the traits that have helped elevate them - the strutting bass and four note repetition of Teen Dreams is pure Modern Lovers, mining the group's 60's garage and proto-punk influences and mixing them with a caustic modernity. It's the only track that still makes an occasional appearance live; another highlight is the rolling bass thunder of I Have Some Business Out West crackles with the energy of an approaching storm: "Our gear wasn't as good back then so we did quite a bit of re-amping and post-production," MB comments. "The EP was basically a playground for experimentation with a bunch of new guitar pedals we'd recently acquired."
In addition, the reissue comes with additional early and rare recordings - the drone heavy initial version of Form and Function, which would appear on a split 7" alongside Nottingham-based peers Kogumaza, plus the swaggering rumbles of The Correspondent - which appeared on 2012 Sonic Cathedral compilation Psych For Sore Eyes. The former is a premonition of phase two of the band, foreshadowing the heavier, dense sound around Pearl Mystic; the latter still sounds like a wonderful outlier - which says something for a band whose boundaries have forever stretched towards the horizon.
The CD includes all seven tracks. The vinyl includes the original four tracks and the additional recordings are bonus downloads.
Recorded by MJ at Suburban Home.
Mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering.
1st vinyl pressing - 500 copies on heavyweight vinyl in a beautiful reverse-board sleeve featuring artwork by guitarist JW.
2nd vinyl pressing - 1000 copies, as above, but with three bonus download tracks.
3rd vinyl pressing - 1000 copies, as above, but with three bonus download tracks.
CD - 2000 copies in digisleeves.
Australia - Rocket
Benelux - Suburban
Canada - F.A.B.
Finland - Supersounds
France - Differ-ant
Germany - Cargo Records
Italy - Goodfellas
Spain - Popstock
New Zealand - Southbound
Scandinavia - Border
United States - Red Eye and Forced Exposure