Hot Water Music
Caution


5.0
classic

Review

by Dan Smith USER (74 Reviews)
December 18th, 2005 | 44 replies


Release Date: 2002 | Tracklist


Its hard to describe "Caution" or indeed Hot Water Music in terms of sound. The band began as a typical Gainesville hardcore punk band, but by 2002, ten years into their career, they had long been in the habit of drawing influences from all kinds of other genres.

They had mastered pop-punk's sense of melody without pandering to any typically commercial sound; they had taken elements of prog-rock in the form of occasionally unusual guitar work but wisely side-stepped its tendencies towards lumbering, overlong instrumentals; they had even absorbed emo's heart-on-sleeve lyricism and delivery, thankfully avoiding all the usual emo-cliches. All of this, combined with the band's punk/hardcore roots makes for an interesting and varied sound.

Both vocalists (Chuck and Chris) have what is in my opinion a brilliant vocal style; rather than divide between clean melodic vocals, and shouting/screaming like many hardcore/punk bands, both singers' styles are somewhere in between, preferring to use a very rough sounding melodic delivery, only occasionally breaking into a shout or a clean line or two when the need takes them. The guitars incorporate punk-style powerchords, but also more intricate instrumental work and the occasional melodic solo, and the rhythm section are tight as hell, perfectly integrating the bass and drums into the sound, subtly adding genius fills in for even greater effect.

Opener, "Remedy" demonstrates all of this quite amply, especially towards the end of the song, where one vocalist sings a low slow vocal line as the other yelps out "no regrets, or falling fits, ill strip the gauze and bleed it" over the top, while simultaneously playing a nice little high-pitched solo-ey riff over the heavier chord work and driving feel of the bass and drums, building up into an amazing crescendo.

This quality continues with "Trusty Chords," an ode to the way music can get you through anything, driven by a jumpy rhythm before breaking into a chorus which perches itself a few notches above "anthemic," something HWM consistently pull off.

The exact same thing can be said about the quasi-title track "I Was On A Mountain" with its torrent of off-the-wall riffs and "One Step To Slip" with its neat bassline subtly harmonised gang-vocal chorus, and seemingly random yet brilliant guitar work.

Solid drumbeats and echoey guitar lines usher in "It's All Related" followed by some suitably gravelly singing, and yet another one of those amazing choruses that HWM have made into an art-form. The song as a whole is rather repetitive, but it"s the good bits that are repeated most, so it gets my vote!!!

A torrent of ascending melodic riffs topped off by a wailing solo forms the intro to "The Sense," a song made all the more impressive by another great showing from the vocalists, with a similar slow-melody-meets-higher-yelped-line combination to the one at the end of "Remedy" but used this time as a brilliant chorus. Halfway into the album, and Hot Water Music can do no wrong!

"Not For Anyone" is more subdued vocally, and would probably earn the title of "most emo song" on the album. Despite this, and the relatively simplistic structure and instrumental playing, the catchy tunes and call-and-response vocals in the outro serve to rescue the song from average-territory, and simultaneously add further variety to the album.

"Sweet Disasters" sounds like two half-finished songs bolted together and given a sound kick up the arse. It is, as a result, abso-feckin-lutely brilliant.

"Alright For Now" is driven by a groovy bassline, powerful but precise drumming, and some subtle squeally guitar lines, which carry the almost-shouted vocals into yet another eargasmicly brilliant chorus. Chuck and Chris manage to inject the simple line of "I'm alright for now but I haven't been, I got lots of shit behind me" with unbelievably raw emotion and venom in equal amounts. If you listen carefully, you can hear some half-hidden piano tinklings in the bridge too.

A faster number, "We'll Say Anything We Want" deals with paranoia and insomnia, and has some positively feral drumming throughout. The added speed is at the expense of an amazing chorus this time, but the catchiness of the verses and the beautifully harmonised vocals make up for this.

"Wayfarer" was the first HWM song I ever heard, and is still one of my favourites to this day. The lyrics on the surface deal with gambling, but look into it a little further, and they are much more insightful; telling of how many our actions can affect what is to come, and all the things around us, throughout our lives. Also, it is home to a chorus that puts every other song in existence to shame. Made completely out of long "whoahs," arranged into breathtakingly beautiful melodies, it coasts along on a solid and catchy drumbeat, and could send a shiver down the spine from a mile away.

"The End" is the perfect way to end "Caution" both in terms of title and music. The enigmatic chorus of "I've been tongue-tied, tired and sick, Like I'm training for the end/I have been gasping for air, I've been training for the end" launching out of the speakers on top of a wailing solo just tops of the Caution Experience perfectly.


Overall, this is an album with absolutely no skippable tracks, and to my mind, absolutely no weak points. It is a classic and essential purchase for anyone who likes their melodic rock with balls and a hefty serving of honesty. Fucking A!

5/5 without a shadow of a doubt!



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user ratings (292)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
spoon_of_grimbo
December 18th 2005


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WTF?! I can't seem to get rid of that html gibberish!!! Can any of the mods help me with this?

Rudd13
December 18th 2005


952 Comments


I've heard Wayfarer. It was okay but I woulndt classify it as punk. Good job on the review as well. Ill have to go back to these guys again.

Chilly-Bean-Bop
December 18th 2005


344 Comments


ilu.

I've heard Remedy and Trusty Chords from this cd and I really want to get this. Good review!

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
December 18th 2005


1588 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ugh Ugh ugh, definitely not a 5/5 album. Your review was alright, but still the album is not worth a 5/5.

CushMG15
December 18th 2005


1802 Comments


I have "A Flight and A Crash" by these guys, and have been meaning to check into them more, but haven't gotten 'round to it. Maybe i'll start with this.

Zebra
Moderator
December 18th 2005


2647 Comments


Edit your review, it's too hard to read.

I've heard two songs from this, and it is not a 5/5.

Rudd13
December 19th 2005


952 Comments


Its been hours, this review is still at the top on the home page, and you still need to edit it.

innerdark
December 19th 2005


749 Comments


ok, to edit it,

did you save it as a word document?

if you did, copy all the text in your word processing doc. and paste it over the html ridden review, then, the code will disappear

ok :thumb:

spoon_of_grimbo
December 19th 2005


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

im gonna edit it now, iv been busy with schoolwork y'see.

and zebra, how can u tell its not a 5/5 when uv only heard two songs? and which ones were they?

also bear in mind that this is just my opinion. i can listen to this album on repeat and never skip a track, and believe its a classic in its genre, but that doesnt mean my opinion on it is concrete fact.

spoon_of_grimbo
December 19th 2005


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

there we go, edited. thanx for the help innerdark!

innerdark
December 19th 2005


749 Comments


hey, no problem, happy to help :thumb:

nice review by the way :thumb:

spoon_of_grimbo
December 19th 2005


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanx! i actually spent a bit more time trying to describe the sound than i usually would. i can't believe its taken me this long to get into HWM!

spoon_of_grimbo
December 19th 2005


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thanx! i actually spent a bit more time trying to describe the sound than i usually would. i can't believe its taken me this long to get into HWM!

liebherk
May 10th 2006


164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good review, but I personally don't think it's quite a 5...This Message Edited On 05.10.06

YDload
May 11th 2006


1207 Comments


This is a neat band, I really like how the bassist just tends to go crazy, almost like Matt Freeman.

spoon_of_grimbo
May 11th 2006


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

i dunno about that really, as much as i like matt freeman, he tends to go a little overboard with his bass playing (probably to make up for tim and lars' simplistic guitaring), but jason black is bit more of a tasteful player. sure, he likes to vary it a lot, and his basslines are very prominent (the intro to "alright for now" being a good example), but i think his playing is better than matt's because it compliments the music better IMO.

however, nice to see someone giving props to a very underrated bassist YDload!

you heard the new HWM project? its called "the draft" and its got all of HWM except chuck, plus some other guitarist called todd, and chris does all the vocals. im liking it a lot, check out...

http://www.myspace.com/thedraftmusic

and

http://www.thedraftband.com


also, anyone heard rumbleseat and blacktop cadence? they're older HWM projects, pretty good stuff.

jaamieee
May 14th 2006


13 Comments


if you are ever on the vancouver island, in canada, stop by my house, I will let you make the sweetest of love to me.


in other words, great review.

spoon_of_grimbo
May 14th 2006


2241 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

er.... thanks lol!

Awesomesauce
February 24th 2009


1084 Comments


Sounds like i need to pick this up. I've got fuel for the hate game and no division, how does this stack up comparitively?

gaslightanthem
February 24th 2009


5209 Comments


this is good but fuel for the hate game is the best



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