Arguably one of the Leeds bands who held open the floodgates for the next generation to pour through, Hookworms not only laid the foundations for the city’s currently burgeoning scene, but refused to rest on their laurels once building was complete.
Now a name in their own right, Hookworms take warehouse shows and festivals in their stride while their on record their sound has evolved in to a multi-faceted beast of almost monolithic proportions.
It wasn't always so however. Back in 2011, Hookworms released their eponymous debut EP; four demo tracks of propulsive and frenetic psych rock that piqued the interest of Cameron Stallones to such an extent that he released it on cassette. Fast forward five years, now with two critically acclaimed LPs behind them, Hookworms have joined forces again with Gringo Records, this time to reissue an expanded version of that fateful demo, containing the original four tracks as well as a smattering of rarities.
It's not so much a retrospective release, as one which celebrates the humble beginning and haggard gear that shaped the band's formative years. The reissue works as a revisit to the band's roots while making it clear that their raison d'être has wavered little, if at all. "Teen Dreams" for example, is one of the only tracks included that still gets a live airing; it's motorik groove and constant feeling of forward motion an aesthetic prominent throughout the band's recordings even now. "Resolution" too, feels unequivocally Hookworms. Soaked in reverb and meandering in its execution, it too harbours many of the traits the band carried forward.
It's the record's final three tracks which will arguably be the draw for the already-initiated however. "Form and Function" is best viewed as a precursor to Pearl Mystic and features a heavier, somewhat more anchored side of the band which was foregrounded in the aforementioned LP. 'The Correspondent' on the other hand, is a hazy, formless cut, often in danger of drifting in to its own cosmic convulsions and is far more reflective of the band's earlier days.
Both a chance for long-term fans to fill gaps in their collection, and those who are new to the party a chance to discover the band's roots, Hookworms is a re-release that builds on the original material by offering a couple of hard to find tracks in a succinct (as far as Hookworms go) and much welcome way.