Hot Water Music
Exister


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Thomas STAFF
May 27th, 2012 | 73 replies | 15,639 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: And after many years the messiah has returned.

I believe it was The Lawrence Arms' Brendan Kelly who once stated that by breaking up and taking themselves out of the market Hot Water Music boosted their popularity more than they ever could have by staying together because in doing so people realized just how much they missed the long time Gainesville, Florida punk act. Obviously I'm paraphrasing here, but he was right. Their hiatus turned them into legends. The first time I saw Hot Water Music in 2002 it seemed as though it was just another stop on what seemed to be one of a million on a never ending tour cycle that would stretch well on past the moment when life on Earth ceased to exist and the sun had met its doom in the form of an iron core. Those few years changed everything. Take for example last night's (May 26th, 2012) show at the Glass House in Pomona. It was a ***ing event! The mood wasn't of just another show, more like some defining moment in punk rock lore in the lives of all of those in attendance (or at least the part of the audience old enough to grow facial hair who stuck around after Touche Amore said their goodbyes for the night, but I digress...) that was something that we would wistfully tell our children with a gleam in our eyes. This same excitement was let out by the beard-punk community as a whole when it was announced that Hot Water Music would release their first album in eight years under the banner of “Exister”.

It's a fitting title to say the least because after the years of one off shows and fest appearances, with a proper album under their belts once again Hot Water Music really do seem to “exist” again, and in more than just the mythical stature that has followed them since the mid 2000's. “Exister” is written with the same vigor and well crafted attention to detail that made albums like Caution and A Flight and A Crash life changing albums for dudes in their late twenties clad in flannel, black jeans, and cabbie hats. It is a perfect balance of the melody oriented shift that began on Caution and came to the forefront on The New What Next and the firebrand punk that defined their earlier career, albeit now much more refined. Tracks such as the opener “Mainline” and “Paid in Full” pulse between monstrous power chord punch and concert ready sing-a-long style choruses in a way that few other bands can pull off so well while the more laid back numbers like single “Drag My Body” and “Safety” are more akin to the “big” sounding classics from the band, think fan favorites “Jack of All Trades” and “Trusty Chords”. The tag team of Chris Wollard and Chuck Ragan have never sounded so on point, as their post-hiatus endeavors have imbued each with greater vocal prowess – and the slick but still gritty enough production does it's fair share as well.

“Exister” is the perfect comeback album for one the punk scene's most revered bands. While it may not have that instant classic feel of Caution, it more than lives up to its older brothers in every way possible. Time will only tell if it ever reaches that same level of glory and respect, but if the reaction to the news songs live is any indication, it is well on its way.



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user ratings (137)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012



17197 Comments


and since someone is bound to ask, here's the setlist from last night:
Remedy
Mainline
Paper Thin
Trusty Chords
State of Grace
Old Rules
Exister
Rooftops
A Flight and A Crash
Drag My Body
The Traps
Giver
Our Own Way
Wayfarer
No Surrender
(Bruce Springsteen cover)
Encore:
Hard To Know
Manual

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2012



21575 Comments


I heard a song off this on a mixtape and it seemed pretty boring

Digging: Septicflesh - Communion

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012



17197 Comments


Basically it comes down to this: do you browse punknews.org? if yes, you will love this. if not, go elsewhere.


Spec
May 27th 2012



27057 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck yeah better get this.

Kris.
May 27th 2012



12152 Comments


this is so fucking good ugh i luv u chuck raygun

klap
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012



10258 Comments


these guys are from gainesville? sucks

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2012



7314 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I found this to be pretty disappointing tbh

faux
May 27th 2012



63 Comments


histrionic, generic band who were on the early frontiers of the nauseating touchy-feely bro-core which forms the basis of the music made by their new labelmates

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012



17197 Comments


i dunno how you get bro-core out of this. did you listen to this at all or did you just see the rise records tag and figure you'd be a dumbass today?

Kris.
May 27th 2012



12152 Comments



histrionic, generic band who were on the early frontiers of the nauseating touchy-feely bro-core which forms the basis of the music made by their new labelmates



holy fuck how dumb are you

TrainEngineer
May 27th 2012



88 Comments


i agree with redskyformiles hes great

Tyrael
May 27th 2012



20738 Comments


'Basically it comes down to this: do you browse punknews.org? if yes, you will love this. if not, go elsewhere.'

I don't

Athom
Staff Reviewer
May 27th 2012



17197 Comments


I just realized how much I dated myself in saying I saw these guys 10 years ago

Spec
May 27th 2012



27057 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

bro-core? obvs didn't listen

mitch91
May 27th 2012



409 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great; as the review points out not 'classic', but still good enough for me.

Digging: Bry Webb - Free Will

lucasjcockcroft
May 27th 2012



3702 Comments


so many chugs in this omg

Spec
May 27th 2012



27057 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

love the ghost inside influence, it really adds to their sound

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2012



23798 Comments


6th best brocore album of 2012 so far i give it a 3.5/5

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
May 27th 2012



23798 Comments


Anyway...ive never listened to that much Hot Water Music but I loved "Covering Ground" shoukd i give thidms a go?

Scoot
May 27th 2012



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

can't believe he said it was by far their best album though

that's an insult to caution

Digging: Unjust - Glow



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