The New What NextEpitaph Records
By Bobby Gorman
I like Hot Water Music, but I haven’t been a fan for a long time. I first came to really know them when they released their second Epitaph album, Caution; which I really liked. They wowed me even more when they came here with The Bouncing Souls a couple months later, so when I heard that they were releasing a new CD, The New What Next, I was excited. And after listening to the CD more times then I can count, I can happily say that this does not disappoint.
The album features twelve solid tracks of classic Hot Water Music songs. By now, most people know what to expect from this Gainesville quartet after the 130 or so songs they’ve released. Gruff, strong vocals by Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard come floating through your speakers in a constant melodic manner, leveled just enough to slightly top the instrumentals. The one big change in the vocals from Cautionto The New What Next is that you can actually understand most of them all the time, you aren’t always reaching for the lyric booklet; which gets you singing along more often.
Strategically placed, the two most powerful songs are found at the beginning and the end of the album, Poison and Giver; which makes the album kick off and end with a bang. But not to worry, the middle tracks aren’t just filler, they too are strong tracks. Songs like The End Of The Line, My Little Monkey Wrench, Keep It Together, and Ink And Lead are sure to grab your attention and have you pressing repeat in no time.
Hot Water Music have created another solid album to add to their discography. It won’t disappoint any fans, and will probably help bring in some more. There are a few moments in the album where you feel that it could use a little extra kick to get it really going, but those moments are few and far between. I have listened to this album countless times since I got it, and have yet to get even remotely bored with it; and I’m sure I’ll be able to pull it out of it’s case anytime in the future and enjoy it again too.