Hot Snakes

Hot Snakes's Audit in Process, the third and best LP issued by these lively rock lifers from Rocket from the Crypt and Drive Like Jehu, is possibly this year's most beautifully coasting, satisfying hard rock effort to date. John Reis's vocals come straight from the deep as always, as if he might upchuck a heart that has superseded all of the muscular barriers of living with an independent mind of its own. New drummer Mario Rubalcaba instigates "Retrofit," and the hairy, Black Flag discipline of "Think About Carbs." And the Snakes's musicianship is laced tight, purposefully swerving all over the album's clear horizon. This is how rock should be done.

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Hunter Stephenson