Hot Water Music
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Fuel for the Hate Game (1996), 6.5/10
Forever and Counting (1997), 6/10
No Division (1999), 5.5/10
A Flight and a Crash (2000), 5.5/10
Caution (2002), 6.5/10
The New What Next (2004), 6/10
Chuck Ragan: Feast or Famine (2007), 5/10
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Hot Water Music is a Florida-based hardcore band, led by singers/guitarists Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard, that originally followed Fugazi's brooding stryle. Finding the Rhythms is an anthology of the early singles and compilation tracks. The dual guitar/vocal attack and the phantasmagoric rhythm section of George Rebelo and Jason Black penned the catchy and ferocious anthems of Fuel for the Hate Game (1996), particularly Turnstile, Trademark and 220 Years. Forever and Counting (1997) debuted a more restrained sound, (Just Don't Say You Lost It, Three Summers Strong), which led to the "experimental" No Division (1999), which simply diluted their verve into longer songs (but Our Own Way was one of their career's highlights).

Meanwhile, Wollard's side-project Blacktop Cadence released Chemistry For Changing Times (1997).

Never Ender (2000), a compilation of singles and compilation tracks, closed an era.

Like many punk bands before them, Hot Water Music started improving dramatically once they left their teenage angst behind for good. A Flight and a Crash (2000) marked a rebirth of sorts, as the quartet intoned the gravest rigmaroles of their career without sacrificing the original firepower. Streamlining the structure of the songs helped recast the band as post-U2 bards, a metamorphosis that peaked on Caution (2002) with anthemic bullets such as Remedy and It's All Related. However, The New What Next (2004) is a mixed bag. Some of the songs (Keep It Together, Giver) stand up to past glory, but others simply recycle motifs that are dangerously close to melodic grunge.

Chuck Ragan debuted solo with Feast or Famine (2007) in a humble folk format.

Exister (2012), the first Hot Water Music album in eight years, was mostly disposable vintage-style punk-pop.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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