Aug. 19 2014 04:55 PM

A brief hits collection of the punk rockers' greatest

Hot Snakes
Hot Snakes
Photo by Chris Woo

For the first time in a couple years, Hot Snakes will perform live in San Diego. On Sept. 10, the veteran punk-rock outfit will headline a show at The Irenic, which inspired me to revisit some of my favorite songs in the band's catalog. Among their three albums, there are plenty of gems, but I narrowed it down to the cream of the crop. Here are eight Hot Snakes songs on permanent rotation:

"Automatic Midnight": Hot Snakes never needed more than 100 seconds or so to make their point. The title track of their debut album is 94 seconds of ass-kicking riffs and huge hooks. Come to think of it, I'd take an extra 90 seconds of this.


"Salton City":
Hot Snakes have swagger; they usually show it through relentless, we-don't-give-a-fuck punk anthems, but in the case of "Salton City," there's a hip-swiveling boogie that shows their danceable side. Turns out it's just as gnarly as their punk bruisers.


"I Hate the Kids":
The group's greatest anti-anthem, a tongue-in-cheek takedown of youth culture from dudes too old to give a shit. This is grumpy, hilarious 30-something punk at its best. 


"Suicide Invoice":
Hot Snakes vocalist Rick Froberg has kind of a twisted sense of humor. The gist of this song—two people enter into a suicide pact but only one goes through with it, leaving a debt to be collected via suicide invoice, "yellow, white and pink"—is dark, intense and nightmarish, but still an amusing concept, fucked up as it is.


"Unlisted":
Basically the Hot Snakes song with the catchiest, most soaring chorus. It's worthy of inclusion just for those 12 seconds.


"Think About Carbs":
The greatest tool in Hot Snakes' arsenal may very well be John Reis' guitar riffs. Here, they land with lethal force—catchy in the beginning, weighty by the middle and simply devastating by the epic outro. 


"This Mystic Decade (Will Finish Here)":
At three-and-a-half minutes, this is fairly colossal for a Hot Snakes song, and they make every second count with a tension-building melody and an explosive chorus.


"Plenty for All":
Put that opening guitar riff on an endless loop; it's perfect. 

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff

Calendar

  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28