Hot Water Music
Fuel for the Hate Game



by Julio Babilonia USER (16 Reviews)
September 19th, 2008 | 42 replies

Release Date: 1997 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The album that pushed Hot Water Music into the spotlight is an excellent effort that will have some fans wishing for 1998 to be back.

The importance of Hot Water Music in the current punk scene can’t be denied. A listen to bands like Strike Anywhere and Comeback Kid is enough to see the influence Hot Water Music has today. Fuel For The Hate Game represents what the late 90’s punk was all about. The album that pushed Hot Water Music into the spotlight is an excellent effort that will have some fans wishing for 1998 to be back.

From the start Fuel For The Hate Game shows its technical superiority to the latest Hot Water Music releases. This doesn’t necessarily make the album better than the rest, but it does make it different and more varied. Instead of just laying back and relying on progressive chords and power chords, the band taps deeper into their creativity and keep the listener on its toes. In the song Turnstile the listener can appreciate the combination between melodic riffs and solo lines, the intense dual guitars, and even improvised sections which were something the band sometimes used while recording.

Did you ever wonder what the result would be if in a punk band you had a drummer and a bassist that used to play jazz together? You get a superb rhythm backbone the likes of which I’d never heard in a punk album before. It turns into the force that drives the album and keeps it tightly together. Just listen to the song Trademark to encounter the magnitude of what I’m trying to describe; listen to the bass provide the melody in which the song is build, listen to the drums keep pace with the double speed of the guitars and keep the song together. In the end the result is nothing short of marvelous. Oh, and for all the bass fans out there, enjoy the 20 second bass solo in Rock Singer.

Another characteristic of this album that was diminished in their last releases is the call-and-response dual vocals. Throughout the album these types of vocals prevail, raising the energy and providing an anthem-like power to the songs. Any song in the album will present this type of vocals, but one that nails it particularly well is Freightliner. This vocal style is something that many band’s today utilize, The Lawrence Arms being one that pulls it off very well.

Even if we wish otherwise, no album is perfect and Fuel For The Hate Game isn’t the exception. It is a shame that an album that starts off as strong as this one ends poorly. The last few songs drag and suffer from the lack of energy that was present trough most of the album. It is almost like if they recorded this non-stop and by the last few songs they were tired and wanted to go home. It’s a harsh metaphor because the songs aren’t bad, but is still kind of accurate. Another thing that might hold the album down is the production, giving it a gritty unpolished sound. People have different opinions when it comes to production, but for someone like me who likes a clean-clear sound, the production might feel like a hindrance that prevents getting more enjoyment from the album.

Fuel For The Hate Game is the type of album many bands wish they could have done in just their second try. Powerful, influential, honest, different, it demonstrated that Hot Water Music was not just another generic punk band. Fuel For The Hate Game not only makes a statement, it is one of the stones that make up the floor in which today’s punk bands create and play.

Recommended Tracks:
220 Years

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user ratings (284)
other reviews of this album
Shadowed Reflection (4.5)
Initially appearing as a punk album, repeated listens reveal much, much more......

Elijah9 (5)
A masterpiece that manages to stay consistent throughout its entire duration....

DrunkenThird (4.5)
i never wondered, i never bothered, i never cared what i wanted to be about - 220 Years...

Comments:Add a Comment 
September 19th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Took me longer than I expected, but I'm very happy with it. Hope people like it. Comments and Votes appreciated.

Anyways, album took a few listens to grow on me. Like I say in the review the bass is superb, gave the album an extra .5 all by itself, I love it.This Message Edited On 09.19.08

September 19th 2008


but one that nails it particularly well isFreightliner

typo. Solid enough review, but I actually don't have this album. Still, band rules.

September 19th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, fixed. And yes, the band rules.

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I had been meaning to get A Flight And A Crash for my introduction to this band but promptly forgot. Yes, good review. I might hear this one first.

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

brilliant review, sums up the album pretty well, although it's criminal that you cited the "last few tracks" as being rather weak, what with the fabulously-rocktastic "difference engine" being among them!

this is second only to "caution" IMO (there's just something about that album that keeps me coming back to it more than the rest), and i'd go as far as to say a classic within the genre. i'm actually considering getting "i must always remember, there's no point to surrender" (from "turnstile") inked at some point...

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

great review, love this band

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

I agree Grimbo, Caution is my favorite by the band. The last few tracks are good, but weak compared to the first, let's say around 3/4 of the album.

Balls, I don't know what to recommend you man. I only have Caution, A Flight and A Crash, and this one. Like I said Caution i s my fav, but they are all excellent. Not sure which one would make for the best "starter" album to the band, maybe Grimbo or someone can suggest one...This Message Edited On 09.19.08

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.5

for a starter, i'd actually go with the new b-sides comp "til the wheels fall off" (which i really must get round to reviewing sometime).

basically, if you put aside the cover-songs on there...

1. anyone who's a fan of the first 7 tracks should go get either "caution," "the new what next" or "flight and a crash" and then work backwards through the discography.

2. if you prefer the other non-cover tracks, go for "fuel for the hate game," and work forwards. (i know "finding the rhythms came before FFTHG, but it's worth leaving that one for later, as it's a little harder to get into than the rest, not that it isn't a great album).

September 20th 2008


I've heard so much good things about this band, maybe I should check them out. Since I'm too lazy to check out the band page, who do they sound most like?

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 4.0

There you go, my fav is Trusty Chords, but u have multiple songs to check out and hear for yourself what they sound like and how great they are.The first 3 are new songs, if you want their stuff before their "break-up" listen to the other ones.This Message Edited On 09.19.08

September 20th 2008


who do they sound most like?

why leatherface, of course.

September 20th 2008


Caution>No Division>A Flight and a Crash>FFTHG>The New What Next.

All of their stuff that I've heard. Anyone interested in this band NEEDS to check out Small Brown Bike. Specifically, Dead Reckoning and Our Own Wars.

September 20th 2008


Album Rating: 3.5

I like this album, but I don't think it is as amazing as most make it a out to be. Caution is my favorite also.

November 24th 2009


Album Rating: 4.5

Finally picked this up the other day. Really digging it so far but doesn't seem as focussed as No Division.

November 25th 2009


finally listening to this, really good so far

December 6th 2009


Album Rating: 4.0

Listened to this again, it's great.

July 3rd 2011


Hot Water Music just signed to Rise

What the fuck, man?

October 20th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

how the fuck is this thread only on page 1...

Space Jester
November 5th 2012


This is listed as their third album, but it came before Forever and Counting.

Will be arriving in my mailbox sometime next week.

November 27th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

gotta try gotta fight gotta never quit

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