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A Little Water Music

Eight years ago, thinking man's hardcore act Hot Water Music emerged from the swamps of Gainesville. With a name cribbed from a Charles Bukowski novel and an ever-evolving sound rooted in their love of AC/DC, Fugazi, and Avail, Hot Water Music appeals to indie rockers, musicians, and backpack-toting kids alike. After several releases on various underground mainstays, Hot Water Music signed to Epitaph in 2001 and broke through with A Flight and a Crash. While some indie wankers cried foul when they heard their beloved Hotties had not only joined the big leagues but also (gasp!) hired a producer who made them take singing lessons, the boys in Hot Water Music always wanted to make a big record, and their exuberance shows throughout Crash. Bass lines and drum patterns explode. Guitar parts take turns dancing around one another before smashing head-on. Chuck Ragan's gruff vocals are perfectly distilled, like Tom Waits hops barreled with Bon Scott barley and fermented with Mia Zapata yeast. Yet the bang-up Crash is still no match for Hot Water Music's explosive live show, where the band members will simply pin their ears back with a non-stop sonic barrage that leaves pounding hearts, broken limbs, and aural damage in its wake. And that's a good thing, Charlie Brown.
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Tom Bowker

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