By Sarah Kitteringham
CALGARY — Squamish’s Hoopsnake delivers torn throat eulogies for the psychoactively elevated. This is music that conjures the misanthropy and punk-laden crust of Buzzov•en and the squealing wall-of-noise produced by Cough. It is drug-addled sludge, complete with swamp slow riffs and tortured howls. On their second full-length Curse of the White Widow, they continue the musical trajectory found on their demo and debut, while adding a few musical elements.
“From the start, we’ve been definitely influenced by doom metal and slow sludgy stuff,” begins bassist and vocalist Shane, who formed the band in 2009 with drummer Oil and guitarist/vocalist Dave. Their 2011 debut Hoopsnake spanned five tracks and 37 minutes, delivering their trademark resin-encrusted sound. In contrast, Curse… offers some musical evolution and a seriously shortened time span of 23 minutes and four tracks.
“We’ve always had riffs coming from all genres, and on the new album we do a cover of a traditional blues song called ‘Spoonful’ by Willie Dixon, so I guess that’s different than anything we’ve ever recorded,” says Shane. The one-chord blues song’s reference to a “spoonful” is often interpreted as a metaphor for drugs, sex, and pleasure. In the hands of Hoopsnake, it becomes a tormented ballad of indulgence of the whiskey and weed variety.
“A song or two are on the rockier side of Black Sabbath, but you’ll also find a lot of stuff that would fit right in with the first album as well,” adds Shane. Captured by Jesse Gander (who has recorded Burning Ghats, the Pack AD, Ahna, and Haggatha) at Rain City Recorders, Curse… will be pressed by the band and available for sale directly from them for $12. Featuring striking artwork of a massive white spider, penned (as per usual) by guitarist/vocalist Dave after a chance encounter on an outdoor hike, the album is sure to satiate your need for jagged edged despair.
See Hoopsnake at the Nite Owl on Wednesday, October 8 with Chieftain and Triton.AB, Alberta, Hoopsnake, Nite Owl