It’s been six years since San Francisco proto-metallers/punks Hot Lunch released their awesome, self-titled debut. While it may have taken them a while to get this new one out, they definitely make it worth the wait with another ripping dose of their heavy, psychedelic proto metal. In fact, they have grown since the release of that first one, as this one adds a dash of prog to their already-potent formula.

This one only has six songs, but the songs are longer; most hover around the seven-to-eight minute mark, filled with exciting twists and turns that will keep you hooked. Before you think they’ve gone all noodly and mellow, the songs still kick out the jams like their previous album, but this time, they are bit more dynamic, showcasing a wider range of influences. These changes add to their sound and keep them ahead of the pack when it comes to other modern bands that play in this genre. They’re not just rehashing old tropes; they’re adding new wrinkles to this classic sound.

Opener “Smoke Ring” demonstrates this new approach, as it takes many twists and turns getting to its end. All of it is fluid and will keep you interested. The same can be said for “Gimme Skelter” and “Human Reissue,” which come in at 5:30 and 8:22, respectively. “Haul Of Meat” is a concise, under-four-minute rocker. It provides a decent change of pace and gets you ready for the closing two songs which seem to form their own movement.

“Black Angel’s Curse” opens with acoustic strumming before picking up the pace and going for it, and from there, it takes several twists and turns before it’s end which leads seamlessly into the closing track “Skulled To Neptune” which runs an epic 14 minutes. This song is broken up into a few mini-sections complete with fade-outs that lead to more exciting music. On this track, they really go for it, adding extended and ornate acoustic sections, mantra-like singing, and, of course, doses of their patented brand of fuzzy proto-metal shot through with ripping solos by guitarist Aaron Nudelman. It’s a quite bonkers way to end the album, but it works, keeping the listener hooked throughout, providing an exciting exclamation point to the album.

Seconds is another exciting dose of proto-metal from Hot Lunch. By broadening their sound, the band has found a way to keep it fresh while honoring their influences. It’s easily one of the best proto-punk/metal, heavy, psych or whatever else you want to call it albums you’ll hear this year. So, if you’re tired of the same old retro rock, give this a spin, and you’ll be thrilled anew.  

Purchase the album here.

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