Check out the new EP below.
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Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 9:36 AM (PST) by Rachael Clifford
Monday, February 25, 2019 at 8:45 PM (PST) by jaystone
Though appropriate venues might be fewer and farther-between as gentrification rages ever forward throughout the 21st century, the underground punk scene continues to be alive and well at places like O’Brien’s Pub, a quintessential dive bar in the Boston neighborhood of Allston. Case in point: Chicago’s Typesetter brought their US tour through “Obie’s” last Tuesday night for what was a fun, spirited, and — most-importantly– three-band bill which should really be the rule rather than the exception on mid-winter weeknights such as this. But I digress.
Save Ends and Rebuilder provided local support on this particular evening. The former have been staples of the local scene, particularly since the release of their killer 2013 album Cold Hands, Warm Hearts (and, obviously, its 2017 follow-up A Book About Bad Luck). Though they’ve been playing out and about for going on a full decade now, we somehow hadn’t shot them at a show before. Save Ends are a pretty sweet band with killer harmonies and super sharp, heavy-hearted emo punk stylings, which proved a perfect choice to kick off the evening’s festivities. The latter, meanwhile, have obviously been favorites of ours for years, and for good reason. Now appearing as a keyboardless quartet, Rebuilder have been working on a follow-up to 2017’s Songs From The Massachusetts Turnpike for a little while now, and they peppered the middle of their set on this night with a trio of brand-spanking new tracks that were heavy on the early-Blink-style melodies we’ve come to love from them. In an interesting twist, the set’s closing track found drummer Brandon Phillips and guitarist/co-frontman Sal Ellington switched places as Phillips took the reins on a blistering cover of Nirvana’s “Breed” in honor of the eve of what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 52nd birthday.
Typesetter closed things out, and holy hell were they a visceral sonic experience. There’s a lot going on in a Typesetter live show: layers of guitar and keys and samples that’s at times shoegazey and at times all-out bombast. One of the standout live performances I’ve seen in quite some time, particularly when it comes time to try to draw parallels to other band’s for comparison’s sake.
Head below for our full photo rundown, and be sure to catch any of these bands when they’re in your respective neck of the woods. Help keep the scene alive!
Ah—to be young and punk in 2010. The Menzingers had just released Chamberlain Waits, The Flatliners brought us Cavalcade, and Make Do and Mend (remember those guys!?) were a promising newcomer with End Measured Mile. Suddenly, being influenced by Hot Water Music and Leatherface were in vogue and the result was a golden age of gravel-throated melodic punk groups. Since then, the novelty has worn off and melodic punk soldiers on in a decidedly less trendy manner—existing as simply as any other subgenre, with occasional sleeper hits and a total lack of mania surrounding them.
Misgivings from the UK remind me of that golden era. Hermitage is their new album, courtesy of Lockjack Records, and it almost reads as a tribute to the style. While I’m sure they didn’t intend to write a meta-analysis of early-aughties melodic punk, the album so earnestly delivers on its hallmarks, that at least for me, let’s me nod my head in nostalgia for a time that was eight years ago. So, you have crunching chords, noodly (yet tasteful) fretwork, melodically balanced aggression; all fronted with open-throated, plaintive vocals.
“Call it Off” opens the album with some buzzsaw chords and emo lead stylings. If there’s one style that I think might be having its current heyday, it’s emo, and as I see more and more of its tropes seep its way into proper punk, I wonder if we’re surrounded by albums that are being codified into classics as speak—future punk rock classics largely unlistened to by actual punk fans. Are we, as die-hard punk fans being left behind by our own genre because we are not keeping with the times? I don’t know, entirely, whether the genre is evolving while its getting-older sect is stagnating, but I do know this: melodic punk and emo have always been bedfellows, and they continue to merge in interesting ways, but vitally, only in one direction. Look at Mom Jeans, look at Graduating Life—these are bands on the emo forefront incorporating punk rock in interesting ways, they are big bands getting bigger. Misgivings is not a hanger-on for playing melodic punk—emo influences or not—but it is a glimpse of the other side of the coin. Traditional punk rock, defiantly or not, is not the powerhouse it used to be. “Call it Off” is a good, anthemic song, but you have to wonder, in 2018, can a melodic punk band playing shout-along anthems truly transcend the genre ghetto?
I don’t think so, personally. But, that doesn’t mean Hermitage is a bad album. It might however mean, that melodic punk is now something of a boutique genre. A throwback in and of itself, dedicated to aging Fest-goers the same way record players and typewriters still move at thrift shops. With the state of the scene treatise out of the way, I’ll say that Misgivings are a competent band, and Hermitage does excel at what it aims to do, even if time has blunted its edge.
There is a lot of strong songwriting across the album. “The Artless Life” is a catchy barn-burner that feels almost Billy Bragg-ish in its rootsy, sarcastic call to arms. It engages in a couple of genre cliches (“everyone is singing out of tune”), but otherwise it features a strong chorus and a worthy arrangement. “The Last Word” is another album highlight. The song opens with a thumping bass line that lets the song breathe before jumping into its centerpiece lick, and in a live setting you could easily picture a crowd singing breathlessly along with, “I might be paranoid, but it’s not crazy!”
Hermitage is a solid album of singalong punk that hearkens back to when this subgenre seemingly ruled the scene. Critically, it both suffers and succeeds because of this: Misgivings is playing honest music that has been made canon years ago; but where punk has been, it also shares its DNA with where punk is going—leaving the album itself in a strange Twilight Zone. Ultimately though, this is punk rock: we’re used to not being relevant, and for those who came of age with gravel-throats and singalongs, Hermitage will feel like coming home.
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 2:30 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
Florida gravelcore band Hot Water Music have announced a tour in which they will be playing their classic albums Caution and No Division in their entirety.
You can check out all dates and locations below.
Hot Water Music last released Light It Up in 2017 via Rise Records.
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 11:29 AM (PST) by KCRaniero
Florida gravelcore band Hot Water Music have released a B-side track called “I Will Be” via Rise Records. The band last released Light It Up in 2017, also via Rise Records. You can listen to this wonderfully gritty song below.
Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 9:35 AM (PST) by jaystone
Rise and shine, boys and girls. In case you missed it, Hot Water Music released a new (well, previously unreleased) track yesterday. It’s called “I Will Be,” and it was taken from the recording sessions for their last studio album, last year’s Light It Up. It’s a pretty solid banger with some pretty deep-feeling emotions on the lyrical side…so, pretty much classic Hot Water Music! Check it out at all the usual places (iTunes, Spotify, etc). or head below!
Light It Up came out last September on Rise Records.
Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 1:30 PM (PST) by The Torchbearer
You can give the album a listen here.
This new album will be the first since 2016’s Comfortable Scars.
Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 8:34 PM (PST) by jaystone
“Bury Your Idols,” as you should damn-well know by know, is from Hot Water’s latest album, Light It Up, which was released last year on Rise Records. The band have a handful of tour dates in such exotic locations as Australia, the UK, Germany, and Florida over the next couple months; check out the full rundown at the link above. To the best of our knowledge, they’ve still got Chris Cresswell from the mighty Flatliners pitching in to help fill Chris Wollard’s duties while he’s getting himself right, but we’ll let you know if that changes. (We love and miss Wollard, but catching them with Cresswell was pretty damn cool in its own right – here’s our review of the Boston gig from late last year.)
Monday, November 27, 2017 at 11:00 AM (PST) by jaystone
Even by the standards of a band that has defined its near quarter-century career by charting its own course and never seeming to duplicate itself, it’s safe to mark Hot Water Music‘s 2017 as one of the band’s most atypical calendar years yet. The pioneering post-hardcore outfit wrote, recorded and released Light It Up, their eighth studio album, back on September 15th. The album is stellar, prompting even old school fans to note that it’s the band’s most inspired and cohesive project in recent memory. They also played a high-profile gig at Riot Fest in Chicago, a place that has shown enough love to the band over the years that its been something of an adopted second home (their live 2012 triple LP was recorded in the Windy City).
That said, the road has been a little bumpier of late. The iconic quartet’s lineup of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard on vocals and guitars, Jason Black on bass and George Rebelo on drums has remained constant — albeit interrupted by the occasional hiatus — since their beginning. Recently, however, they’ve had to play down a man; beginning at Fest last month in their hometown of Gainesville, Wollard has had to take a step back from performing live in order to take care of some self-reported anxiety and stress-related issues. Given the amount of moving parts (day jobs and spouses and babies and pets and so on) that need to line up for Hot Water Music to play live these days, the other three members — with Wollard’s blessing and encouragement — chose to fulfill their long-scheduled tour obligations, including a recent three-day run through Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, and an upcoming date in Brazil.
And they are doing it with a little help from a few friends; The Flatliners’ Chris Cresswell filled in for Wollard at Fest on fairly short notice and played the three Northeast US shows, while Less Than Jake’s Chris DeMakes, a fellow Gainesvillian and longtime friend of the band, will cover the Brazil show (with any luck, Wollard will be back in fighting shape by the time the band’s January dates in California come around). Not only was Dying Scene on hand to shoot the band’s recent Boston date, but we were lucky enough to sit down with Jason Black back stage just moments before the show got under way. We talked about the lead up to recording Light It Up, looked back at some of the changes over the band’s two-plus decades in the business, and about adding the decade-and-a-half younger Cresswell to the mix; we also got cut off near the end by Ragan and Cresswell joining the conversation, the latter accompanied by a Les Paul and seeking clarification as to his part on the new Wollard-fronted Hot Water Music track “Vultures.” Head below to read our full interview!
Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at 9:28 AM (PST) by jaystone
Hot Water Music made their long-awaited return to the Boston area last Friday night, playing to a packed house at the Sinclair in Cambridge that sold out long before the show actually took place. Touring in support of their most recent studio album, Light It Up (released September 15th via Rise Records), the genre-defining four-piece were playing down a man, with Chris Wollard sitting out this run of shows to focus on taking care of anxiety and stress-related issues. However, just like they did at Fest last month, they called on the help of a pretty well-respected friend to fill Wollard’s shoes. That, of course, was none other than Flatliners frontman Chris Cresswell.
If Cresswell had the pre-game jutters that might be expected when filling in on the sold-out first night of a run with a highly influential band fifteen years his senior, he didn’t show them. The show’s twenty-one song setlist did steer more heavily toward the Chuck Ragan sung end of the catalog, and Ragan took over lead vocal duties on the new track, “Vultures,” but Cresswell did Wollard justice on such staples as “A Flight and A Crash,” “Paper Thin,” and, of course, “Trusty Chords.” Ragan, who sounded as solid and high-energy as he ever has, seemed on more than one occasion to look on in proud admiration at his new stage-left counterpart. For their part they rhythm section core of Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums) were a lock-tight gas pedal, which, while they’ve been playing together for the better part of a quarter-century, is not necessarily an easy task given that it was the first night of a brief three-day tour for a band that doesn’t live on the road nearly the way they did earlier in their respective careers. Rebelo’s recent turn behind the drumkit with Bouncing Souls has provided his playing with a little bit of an added, uptempo spark, which seems to play right into the nimble-fingered Black’s wheelhouse. It may not have been the traditional Hot Water Music lineup that has been so long-revered in this scene, but goddamn it still felt pretty special.
Big Jesus provided direct support on all three shows on this run. Trying to narrow down the sound of Big Jesus to one definable genre is a bit on the difficult side, but they’ve got a sludgy, swampy metal guitar attack that’s offset by bassist/vocalist Spencer Ussery’s airy, melodic vocals that have drawn comparisons to Smashing Pumpkins but are really more like Silversun Pickups-meets-Clutch. They were apparently “discovered” and subsequently managed by the Madden brothers, though you’d honestly never guess that from their sound or their look.
Local three-piece Bundles, who’ve become increasingly beloved around these parts, were added to the bill to kick off the show only about a week or so ago, after it was announced that Strike Anywhere wouldn’t be on this particular date. We’ve caught the trio on longer bills at various smaller bars in Boston, so to get the chance to see them on the larger stage (editor’s note: we’re pretty sure O’Brien’s in Allston would fit on the stage at Sinclair, but we digress) was a bit of a proud moment that the band seemed to revel in. There’s is an updated, stripped down version of the sound pioneered by bands like Hot Water Music twenty-five years ago, but with lyrics that draw as much inspiration from classic literature as they do from personal pain and struggle. Fun opportunity for the band and it was awesome to see them as being up to the task.
Check out our full photo gallery below, and stay tuned for our sit-down with Hot Water Music’s Jason Black in the next few days!
Tuesday, November 7, 2017 at 9:25 PM (PST) by gunnar
It’s not often I hear news about Hot Water Music that makes me sad, but this does. Chris Wollard is taking a break from the band for his own health. His statement is long and heartfelt, and you can read it in its entirety below.
Hot Water Music will continue their tour with The Flatliners‘ Chris Cresswell filling in for Wollard in Boston, Brooklyn and Philly from November 17-19 and Chris DeMakes of Less Than Jake handling Wollard duties in Brazil on December 2nd. The band are touring in support of their latest full-length, “Light It Up” which is their first album in 5 years. It was released on September 15th via Rise Records.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 2:26 PM (PST) by Carson Winter
Anyone who knows me knows my taste follows the orbit laid out by Hot Water Music, Leatherface, and other aggro-melodic sad sack punk planets. I like some gravel, I like some distortion. I like post-hardcore when it goes full circle from breaking down the blank verse of hardcore and taking it to the rhymes and meter of traditional songwriting. Catchy, loud, powerful– that’s what I’m into. Question Tuesday are a satellite on a similar trajectory. Local to Portland, OR, worshiping at the altar of Leatherface, with an EP called We Don’t Want What You’re Selling.
Their sound is heavy riffs, beat-to-shit skins, trilling leads, and broken glass vocals. They run the line between shouted urgency and full throated singalongs. Six songs of punk rock that hearkens back to an era of growth, post revolution summer, as emocore and post-hardcore grew and adapted from their early scenes into the stuff that filled the rosters of No Idea Records before the turn of the millenia.
“Bring It Down” opens the EP with a riff that alternates between chugged power chords and the aforementioned trilling leads, punctuated with a charged vocal attack. “Black & Blue” features a busy guitar line beneath its verse that shows Question Tuesday playing with the basics of punk songwriting by not relying entirely on chord progressions to drive their songs. In fact, one of things I like the most about We Don’t Want What You’re Selling is that their leads are prominent as in the style of the genre, but never as an impersonation of it. Hot Water Music and Leatherface both have a pretty unique sound to their approach of lead guitar, but Question Tuesday takes their own way rather than copying what the other guys are known for. Their sound is a bit more straight rock ‘n roll, more rooted in melody, different enough to carve out their own identity.
There’s even some shades of 90s Epitaph here, with “Writing on the Walls’” frenetic double-time drumming near the middle of the song. The EP ends with “See a Glow,” which has a sort of dreamy pace, even with its thick guitar distortion. It contains some confessional lyricism like, “It’s alright to fall to pieces,” but the track isn’t as dynamic as I’d like and it’s run time is felt more than it should be.
We Don’t Want What You’re Selling is a strong release from a young band. Minor missteps are easy to forgive in a six-song EP, especially in one that so earnestly walks in the shoes of a sound out-of-vogue. Question Tuesday aren’t really reinventing anything here, but they aren’t stagnating it either– just using it as a springboard for self-expression. It’s where we all start, and for fans of the style, it’ll be interesting to see where Question Tuesday goes.
Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 9:34 PM (PST) by Daron
Canada’s Lost Love and Northern Ireland’s Empty Lungs will be touring through the UK and EU together throughout November and into the wee early days of December. You can find the tour dates for the pair of indie-punks below.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 3:35 PM (PST) by steve_kingston
Bassist Jason Black had this to say about the lyrical content on the song:
“The basic gist of the lyrics is that, civilized/Western/first world cultures are destroying the planet; even those of us with the best intentions can’t make the difference we’d like, because life and the circumstances surrounding [us] are complicated.”
The song is taken from their upcoming album “Light It Up” which is their first album in 5 years. It due to be released on September 15th via Rise Records.
Monday, July 17, 2017 at 3:06 PM (PST) by Mike Scott
Hot Water Music have released a video for new song “Vultures.” The track is off their upcoming album, “Light It Up,” released on September 15th via Rise Records. The video follow’s May’s “Never Going Back“.
You can watch the video, featuring fan footage that spans the band’s whole career, below.