Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hot Water Music- TIll The Wheels Fall Off

All great bands must die sometime. Musicians lose interest and move on to different things. Such is the case with Hot Water Music, one of the most emotional, raw, and driving punk rock bands of the last ten years. No fights, no drama, just musicians moving in different directions. 3/4 of the band have recently formed The Draft, which is essentially in the same vein musically as Hot Water Music, while singer/guitarist Chuck Ragan is pursuing a solo career focusing more on country and folk music. Both groups are still making great music, and maybe it's better this way.

Hot Water Music has always been known for its dual vocal attack. In their earlier days, Ragan's guttural voice was up front while second singer/guitarist Chris Wollard, whose voice is more melodic, provided backups. As time progressed, they tended to take equal vocal duties in a duet style. By the end of the band, Ragan was doing back up vocals and Wollard was up front, maybe hinting at Ragan's desire to move on. This collection of B-sides, splits, rarities, and covers is a final goodbye to a solid punk band whose sound and style has been unique and continually copied.

Even their B-sides are really good. "Home" is the only song on here that you can't find anywhere else, and was cut from their final studio release, The New What's Next (which, while still good, is one of their weaker releases, and has a very foreshadowing title). Other songs are lifted from splits with Alkaline Trio (Wollard's acoustic take on "Bleeder" is powerful), The Casket Lottery, and a few others.

They salute their punk rock heroes and wear their influences on their sleeves with covers from The Clash, Government Issue, Midnight Oil, The Circle Jerks, Turbonegro, and the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen.

Their Moonpies for Misfits EP is included on here but is missing the track "Where We Belong," and "The Bitter End" from the Leatherface split is missing (although they do include a cover of Leatherface's "Springtime"). Also missing is a cover of John Mellencamp's "Authority Song" from the Totally Fucking the 80s comp. Other than that, definitely worth getting to complete your collection. There isn't a bad song on here. A great testament to a great band and what a way to go out. You need to here this band, end of fucking story.

Hot Water Music myspace
The Draft myspace
Chuck Ragan myspace

1 comment:

Alex said...

I feel like such a bum for not checking all this music out, but when you're in both Z201 and Z301 while also analyzing the music of The Kinks for your senior project/potential book, it's a bit hard.

I hope you'll find it in yourself to take exception for the next several months.

You definitely have style. It's a drag I didn't start a convo with you in the Zappa class, you seem pretty badass.