Under Review


It’s Midnight… The Witching Hour (Razorback)

By Mark PaulHus


The sky darkens over Vancouver as menacing clouds slowly slip in and veil the moon. In the distance you can hear a faint rumble. The doom-laden air thickens with pressure and CLAP! Your heart pounds and your flesh pales as you realize that it’s not just any ol’ thunder surrounding you; it is genuine Kentucky heavy-metal thunder!

Formed at the crossroads of punk and metal by Adam Neal (Rock’N’Roll Outlaw and formerly of Nashville Pussy), Hookers have gone through a multitude of lineup changes since ‘94. Over the past few years, Vancouver’s own Juan Badmutha (SprëadEagle, Evilive) and his bass guitar have become one of the Outlaws’ staunchest henchmen. For It’s Midnight, Badmutha recruited fellow Vancouverites Randy Romance (Red Hot Lovers) on guitar and Russia (Black Wizard, Hopeless) on drums. The resulting album is one of Hookers’ heaviest works to date. As indicated by the sinister cover art, the 12 tracks on It’s Midnight were concerned with the same depraved themes as Hookers’ past releases: sex, horror, and the devil.


“The Devil’s Wedding Night” starts things off at a frantic pace — a quick piece of blood curdling thrash to set the mood. “Violent Love Reaction” is the album’s longest track at 3:08; it plays like a gruesome love ballad with sludgy riffs, a hard, intent beat, and the Outlaws’ demonic bellow. The same gruff vocals keep the more punk and rock ‘n’ roll sounding tracks like “Kneel Before Me” and “Bad Man on the Run” in an evil place. The album’s reign of terror comes to an end with the riotous “Tonight Was Made For Killing” — a perfect track to lay the album to rest.

Not for the meek, It’s Midnight… The Witching Hour is a diabolical dose of Hookers’ infamous heavy metal thunder that will consume any fiend who dares to cross its threshold.