Hookworms - Microshift
Critic Score
Based on 21 reviews
2018 Ratings: #28 / 790
User Score
Based on 389 ratings
2018 Ratings: #360
Liked by 3 people
February 2, 2018 / Release Date
LP / Format
Domino / Label
Neo-Psychedelia / Genres
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In an ever-changing landscape for British ‘guitar music’ – hello Shame, farewell Wild Beasts – this is a sound, a set of songs, that deserves to expand the size of Hookworms’ hard-won community. It’s been well earned.
The Guardian
On their third album, the Leeds band shed some distortion to reveal powerful vocals and tough pop melodies – without sacrificing any intensity

Here, the band are more willing than ever to open up their sound, to experiment and, ultimately, to create a record that shines in the face of darkness.

The Line of Best Fit

It's the beginning of 2018 and talk of albums of the year right now is obviously churlish, but on Microshift we're hearing a band hitting their sweet spot with such an effortless swagger that we're sure this is a contender.

Drowned in Sound
You would have to search far and wide to find a transformation in an already great band that works as well as this.
The 405

Touching on themes of mental health, masculinity, romantic breakups, body image anxiety and, above all, grief, Microshift still manages to be the poppiest and most uplifting album of the band’s career.

No Ripcord

Microshift clearly demonstrates that Hookworms are operating on a new level. The sonic adventure of old persists, but the palette has broadened significantly and is further bolstered by a newfound courage to share experiences, thoughts and feelings. At this point, Hookworms might just be the best British band in the business.

Under The Radar
Over an impossibly difficult three years, the band have learnt to fuse the seismic nature of their sound with an emotional transparency that elevates them as a band hugely.

Microshift finds Hookworms drawing a line under their history and taking their first step on a new adventure. They’ve not put a foot wrong yet.

Loud and Quiet
It’s certainly a departure from ‘Pearl Mystic’ and ‘The Hum’; the extended, krautrock jams are eschewed this time in favour of lighter, bouncier soundscapes that place much more importance than ever before on melody.
The Skinny

Microshift utilises the band's propensity for psychedelia and takes it somewhere new: it's the band's most accessible record to date, but the subtle electronic idiosyncrasies keep it interesting.

Reborn through anguish, Hookworms are alive and otherworldly as ever.
While ‘The Hum’ proved a logical step forward for Hookworms, ‘Microshift’ pays little attention to the script, and is all the more thrilling for it.

Their new way of constructing songs and the more open nature of the sound have done nothing to blunt their emotional impact, and Microshift ends up being just as powerful and cathartic as previous works while being richer and more musically satisfying.

Like the reformed partier who now gets their endorphin rush from morning jogs instead of amphetamines, Hookworms have traded in chaos for clarity. The adherence to krautrockin’ repetition remains, but the proto-punk engine has been replaced by electronic loops and glacial synths. Suddenly, a band that once sounded most at home in strobe-lit basement dives now sounds primed for a late-afternoon slot at your roving summer festival of choice.
A.V. Club

Overall, Microshift is the sound of a band pulling itself out of the abyss on the back of its most buoyant music yet.

Northern Transmissions
Employing electronic keyboards and organs, myriad sound effects, a weighty array of stringed instruments and the immense vocal range of band leader MJ, the group has succeeded in reformulating a supposedly outmoded genre for contemporary listeners.
Crack Magazine

Ultimately, Microshift’s bright sound might leave you pining for shadier textures.

Microsoft manages to be a beautiful album. It's weird going through a lot of albums from 2018 because, at the time, I didn’t like a lot of them, and my friend was just trying to broaden my horizon, now I feel like I sorta almost missed out on enjoying so many great albums. Back to Microsoft: uh, yeah, really good.
Fav Song: Ullswater
Least Fav: Each Time We Pass
Microshift is the third LP of Leeds-based psychedelia band Hookworms, which ultimately will be their last one following internal tensions and drama regarding their lead singer. And I will admit, as someone who listened this project back in February of 2018, the news has somewhat muddied my reception towards this album. However, I still want to appreciate the project that it once was, and then move on after this review has been written.

Maybe for hardcore fans of the genre, Hookworms may not be ... read more
we really were starved for quality records early this year weren't we

favorite track: Boxing Day
Had a couple cool synth beats and vocal runs, but all in all a pretty boring effort.
Hailing from Birmingham, these British pysch-rockers have never really made much of a splash in the pond and have been plagued with bad luck throughout their careers. Though they have obviously found a stroke of favourable luck this year. Microshift is an urgent and mind-bending album that throws you in head first into a whirlwind of lengthy, fuzzed out tracks that blend keyboard and guitar seamlessly. The vocals are searching, even slightly pain, as if crying for some attention amongst the ... read more
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Year End Lists

/Esquire (UK)

Track List

  1. Negative Space
  2. Static Resistance
  3. Ullswater
  4. The Soft Season
  5. Opener
  6. Each Time We Pass
  7. Boxing Day
  8. Reunion
  9. Shortcomings
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Added on: November 1, 2017