Vinyl Vlog 276

Vinyl Vlog 276

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Tuesday, 21 November 2017
COLUMN

Hot Water Music

Exister

 

I remember first hearing Hot Water Music and being immediately transfixed. It was on one of those Punk-O-Rama compilations that used to be all the rage back in the day. Say what you will about them, but they often helped spark interest in bands you never heard of. Hot Water Music was definitely one of these bands. And once your interest was peaked, you realized there’s much more to Hot Water Music than meets the eye.

For starters, their music is a little hard to pin down. It’s loaded with hardcore elements for sure, but it’s also melodic, anthemic, and hard. It’s also beautiful, vulnerable and undeniably aggressive, straightforward and at times very complex. These are qualities that are for sure hard to come by in most bands these days. Another thing you might find when diving down the rabbit hole of HWM is that they have a pretty rich history. Their music has had a long lifespan, leaving their mark in many iterations of punk rock, from the beard punks in Florida, to the Epitaph hardcore of the oughts, to the folk punk revival that followed it. Hot Water Music might not be your cup of tea at a certain point and time but they sure as hell were trying to keep things fresh.

 

Exister caught the band in an interesting point of their career, because no one was expecting an album at this point. Oh, that’s another thing about HWM: they can’t seem to stop breaking up and reuniting.

 

One thing was for sure, Exister had the band picking up right where they left off. Like a good HWM record, the opening track has a habit of catching your attention (especially when it’s a Chuck Ragan track) and prepare you for the journey ahead, full of the catchy melodies, heavy riffs, and a sound that’s too rock for the punk crowd and vice versa. And being recorded at the Blasting Room definitely helps give Exister a rich and rocking sound. It’s the best this band has sounded since A Flight and a Crash.

 

Exister is a phenomenal return for Hot Water Music and an album I’ve come to appreciate more as the years have gone by. It might indeed exist in our memories indefinitely. Well done, boys.

Get it here.

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