Hookworms (band)

Hookworms were an English five-piece psychedelic/noise rock band from Leeds/Halifax.

Background information
OriginLeeds, England
GenresNeo-psychedelia, space rock, noise rock, drone rock
Years active2010 (2010)–2018
LabelsWeird World / Domino Recording Company (Link)
Gringo Records (Link)
Faux Discx
Too Pure
Associated actsCowtown, Menace Beach, Nope, Wonderswan, XAM Duo
Past membersEO


Hookworms released their first tape cassette EP on Sun Araw's Sun Ark/Magic Lantern label in August 2011.[1] They were known for their live shows.[2] They released live recordings (including a CD release of their WFMU live session) and several other releases through Gringo Records. In 2013 Hookworms signed with the Domino imprint Weird World; they also joined the Too Pure roster with their single "Radio Tokyo."

Hookworm's 2013 LP Pearl Mystic was widely praised.[3] It was named the number 1 album of 2013 by Loud and Quiet,[4][5] BrooklynVegan,[6] and Drowned in Sound.[7][8] Their second LP The Hum also received positive critical reviews.

The band was composed of EO, JN, JW, MB, and MJ. They produced through MJ's own Suburban Home Studio in Leeds.[9] All related art was done through JW's Idiot's Pasture. Fans of Hookworms included Bobby Gillespie, Charlotte Church,[10][11] and Julian Cope,[12] who described their 2011 EP as "an epic 26 minutes of sub-Zabriskie Point ambient road-movie heat haze-on-the-road sonic wipeout of the post-Loop variety."

On 30 October 2018, Alanna McCardle - formerly a member of Welsh group Joanna Gruesome and a former partner of Hookworms singer Matthew Johnson - took to Twitter to post a series of tweets on behalf of another unnamed woman, referred to only as 'L', who had also been in a relationship with Johnson. In the tweets, McCardle reported allegations made to her by 'L' of her experiences of suffering emotional torture and repeated incidents of sustained brutal, violent sexual assaults by Matthew 'MJ' Johnson.[13]

In her assessment of the allegations, McCardle called attention to the frequent and strident messages posted by the official Hookworms social media accounts as well as Johnson's own personal accounts regarding their staunch feminist and anti-abuse ethic - particularly in the context of the music industry.[14] McCardle suggested that this was a strategy intended to somehow mitigate or distract from Johnson's alleged history of abusive behaviour. The next day, the band announced their breakup.[15]

In the aftermath of the widely covered[16] allegations made against the singer on Twitter which resulted in the band's breakup - Johnson appeared not only to have removed himself entirely from social media[17] but also the website for, and most references to his recording studio business also appear to have been largely removed from the internet.[18] To date, no follow ups to the allegations made by a third party on Twitter are known to have been made, no further details relating to the actual allegations have come to light, and 'L' remains anonymous.


Studio albums

Full lengths

  • HookwormsSun Ark/Magic Lantern, Cassette (2011)
  • HookwormsGringo Records/Faux Discx, 12" LP/MP3 (2011)


  • Split w/ KogumazaGringo Records, 7"/MP3 (2012)
  • Radio Tokyo/On ReturningToo Pure Singles Club release, 7" (2013)

Live releases / Compilation appearances / Remixes

  • "Starting Line": Runners Remix – Dummy Mag, 12" single/MP3 (2011)
  • Live Vol. 1 – Self release, Cassette/MP3 (2012)
  • Spur: Volume One Compilation, w/ "Deu" – Magnetic Tapes, Cassette (2012)
  • Live Vol. 2: WFMU session – Cardinal Fuzz, CD & DVD (2012)
  • "Bodies": Mazes Remix – Fat Cat Records, Cassette/MP3 (2012)
  • "Run To Your Mama": MJ Goat Remix – Rocket Recordings Record Store Day release, 12"/CD (2012)
  • Psych For Sore Eyes EP compilation, w/ "The Correspondent" – Sonic Cathedral, 7" (2013)
  • Live Vol. 3Domino Records, Rough Trade exclusive "The Hum" bonus CD (2014)


  1. Freeman, John. "Nematode Noise: An Interview With Hookworms". The Quietus. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. Graham, Ben. "Pearl Mystic: Review". The Quietus. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  3. "Critics pick the best albums of 2013". Metacritic. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  4. Dylan Ray, Daniel. "Issue 55: A Humble Evolution". Loud and Quiet. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  5. "Albums of the year 2013". Loud and Quiet. Archived from the original on 2 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  6. "Our Favourite Albums of 2013". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  7. Gourlay, Dom. "Drowned In Sound's Favourite Albums of 2013". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  8. Gourlay, Dom. "Peal Mystic review". Drowned In Sound. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  9. "Radar Band 124". NME. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  10. "Radar Band of the Week". NME. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  11. "Singles of the Week". Metro, UK. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  12. Lester, Paul. "New Band of the Day". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  13. "Hookworms' MJ Accused Of Sexual And Physical Abuse". Clash Magazine. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  14. "Hookworms tweets re: sexual abuse in Music industry". Twitter. 18 October 2017. Archived from the original on 31 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  15. "Hookworms Break Up Following Abuse Allegations Against Frontman | Pitchfork". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  16. Snapes, Laura (31 October 2018). "Hookworms split after abuse allegations against band's singer". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  17. "Matthew 'MJ' Johnson's deleted social media profiles post-allegation". 12 February 2019.
  18. "Wayback Machine". web.archive.org. 15 August 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
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