Tuesday 6 February 2018

On Stage: Hookworms @ Tolhuistuin

When Hookworms released The Hum over three years ago I was swept away by that record and its clever mix of punk, rock and electronics. I've been keeping a close eye on them ever since and last week they headed to Amsterdam with their new album Microshift.

Hookworms at Paradiso Tolhuistuin, February 3 2018

I received the new record in the mail a day before and was able to give it a spin. I liked it instantly and couldn't wait to see them play again. The room is almost dark when the band enters the stage and gets lit when the large video screens at the back switch on. For the rest of the night we won't be able to see the band members very clearly as there are hardly any lights on them. The drummer on the right side even stays in the dark all the time and it takes a few minutes before we even see him sitting there.

This is a smart move as the band is playing a very tight set where songs are lined-up after another and there's hardly any room for interaction. This is one of those shows where interaction isn't necessary anyway. The high energy tracks are fired off with high precision and are spot on. The new album sounds a bit more electronic but live there are still plenty of loud guitars ringing. It isn't too hard to hear LCD Soundsystem echoing through here and there, but this band have definitely come up with their own sound. It is the combination of punk and dance that draws this comparison.

There's a large variation in the music ranging from electronic dance to psychedelic rock. At one point a sax player is joining for a few songs and it turns into the soundtrack to a dark and weird David Lynch movie scene. The visuals add to the psychedelic side of the band and mix very well with the music. This is a total experience of very high standard and it is impressive to see how this band has grown even more in the past years. The songs of the new album sound as if they have been playing them for years and they come alive even more in this set. Their sound has become bigger and wider and could fill much larger venues or even festival sides. It's interesting to see how many fans they can win with the new album and how far they can get. I'll be keeping an even closer eye on these guys and hope to see a lot more of them. Hopefully this summer at one of the festival I'll be visiting.

All Pictures

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