Band of the Day

2012.02.20

The Hooks

Lively, carefree Irish punk made for boisterous nights
The glass is never empty, the glass is never full. Life is but a drink.
lyrics from Everything Is Golden

The Hooks are an Irish punk rock band currently based in San Francisco, California. Brothers Keith and Ronan Mulligan (both on guitar and vocals) started The Hooks in their hometown of Sligo, Ireland, in 2003. Alongside the Mulligan brothers are Colin Delaney (drums), Chet Hamby (bass), and Lance Geng (keys and harp). After regularly packing out venues in their native Ireland, including The Garavogue and McGarrigles in their native Sligo, The Hooks were invited to support Shane MacGowen (of The Pogues) while he was touring as Shane MacGowen & The Popes. In 2004, the band relocated across the Atlantic to San Francisco. They've since played with legendary punk bands like The Pogues, Flogging Molly, and X. The Hooks released their 10,000 Ft EP in 2008, and have since followed it up with a full-length album called Everything Is Golden. The album was recorded at Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco and was released in 2010.

Sometimes nothing beats meeting up with a group of friends at a pub, knocking back a pint (or a few pints...) of Guinness, and getting caught up in the boisterous revelry of a local band playing their hearts out. Glasses of beer clink together in time to the beat, white foam threatens to slosh out onto the already sticky floor. Somehow every single person in the pub seems to know all of the words to the song, and a mass sing-a-long begins. The Hooks are the local band in this scenario, and they originally formed in 2003 in the town of Sligo, Ireland. Located on the northwestern end of the Emerald Isle, it's not hard to see why pub culture and music is so popular here. Seeking shelter in a Sligo pub on a cold, damp night is the Irish version of stumbling across an oasis in the middle of a vast, scorching desert. The Hooks have since relocated across the Atlantic to San Francisco, California, but they've stayed true to their Irish roots. Their debut album Everything Is Golden is inspired by the carefree punk rock of classic bands like The Pogues, The Clash, and The Dubliners. “Get Out” proves that there's a reason why they're called The Hooks—it's definitely filled with plenty of catchy guitar hooks, alongside a lively, booming bass drum beat. “Everything Is Golden,” the title track off of the album, is their version of a rousing drinking song. The name alone brings to mind that feeling of invincibility that seems to increase after every pint of beer consumed, when all seems right with the world and you slur out, “I love you, man!” to everyone in your vicinity. It starts off with the sound of children shouting “yay!”, before an oom-pah-pah accordion riff gives the song a gypsy punk flair, similar to bands like Gogol Bordello. Taking a line from “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” lead singer Keith Mulligan twists it in true drinking song fashion by singing, “The glass is never empty/ The glass is never full/ Life is but a drink.” Luckily for us, unlike throwing back shot after shot of creamy Bailey's, binging on The Hooks' music does not lead to a wicked hangover the next day—so bottoms up!