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Hot Water Music - The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to Nothing (Cover Artwork)

Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music: The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to NothingThe Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to Nothing (2011)
self-released

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: thepopeofchili-townthepopeofchili-town
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In the seven years since the release of The New What Next, the members of Hot Water Music have broken up, started successful solo careers and side projects, joined more popular bands like Against Me! and Senses Fail, gotten back together, played some shows, and signed to one of the last labels anyon.
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In the seven years since the release of The New What Next, the members of Hot Water Music have broken up, started successful solo careers and side projects, joined more popular bands like Against Me! and Senses Fail, gotten back together, played some shows, and signed to one of the last labels anyone would have expected them to. Not counting a B-sides collection, a live 7-inch series, and a recent split with the Bouncing Souls featuring a so-close-to-the-original-why-bother cover of "True Believers", this two-song single represents the first tunes we've heard from them as Hot Water Music since then. The resulting two songs are both of the high quality we've come to expect from the band, but couldn't be more different in sound.

First up is "The Fire, The Steel, The Tread", a re-worked Chuck Ragan solo track that was previously used in the trailer for the Scott Toepfer project It's Better in the Wind. It's a bit curious that they used a previously released song to kick off the band's first original release in seven years, but the band give it a different-enough feel to justify its inclusion. The song retains the folk tinge that adorns most of Ragan's solo work, but the other three-quarters of the band give it a rock 'n' roll edge that would make it stick out like a sore thumb on any of his solo records. Guitar licks, buried in the background and only revealing themselves after repeated listens, give it an almost cinematic feel. It's not hard to imagine this song working well as the soundtrack to a spaghetti western. The word "epic" has become overused to the point of parody in the last few years, but it feels appropriate here.

On the flipside is "Adds Up to Nothing", a much more traditional Hot Water Music song. It doesn't stray far from the sound the band perfected on The New What Next and continued (minus Mr. Ragan) as the Draft. Chris Wollard's voice sounds as great as it ever has, and it's great to hear it over a raging full band again after a few years of more reserved work with his band the Ship Thieves. The song is much hookier and immediate than its A-side, and it almost seems like it would have made more sense to reverse the two.

Hot Water Music have managed to give the fans what they wanted, and experiment at the same time. In these two new songs, they have given us a glimpse of the fact that seven years of their main songwriters playing more acoustic-oriented music has definitely rubbed off on them, and also shown us that despite that, they are still the same band we've come to know and love. This release will grab the attention of anyone who had forgotten about the band in their dormant years, and tie over the die-hards until the release of their next full-length early next year. Welcome back, boys.

The Fire, The Steel, The Tread / Adds Up to Nothing will be released via 7" on August 29.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
hbwlons (November 14, 2012)

I really like the artwork on this, wish they'd used it for exister, and kept the sinc thing going. I still listen to these songs alot too.

killabeez666 (January 20, 2012)

I'm surprised that people are surprised. This record sounds like what I would imagine HWM in 2011 to sound like. The older they got the more polished their sound became. Regardless of the change, I love this. I'm stoked to see what they put out this year.

jnl (August 15, 2011)

If you really don't like these songs, then you don't really like chuck and chris' side projects. I too hope they'll eventually write the kind of music that made them legends, but I don't expect them to go straight back to what they were in the 90s. They obviously went on different paths and the new hot water music will probably have a lot of that. If you don't like it, don't listen to it.

sloanedaley (August 4, 2011)

Overall this is a pretty weak release, very phoned in. If this can get them four stars I hope they don't decided to fart out the rest of the album like this because everyone out there is telling them their shit rules on a fanboy high.

killtaker (August 4, 2011)

"As a longtime fan, I'm disappointed. It sounds mailed in to me, like two tracks they had lying around from other projects that wouldn't have made the cut for either."

I think that these songs were def. already written and I have no issue with that. I think it's solid.
They probably just wanted something to be able to take out when they play shows this fall. I really like the Wollard song (loved the Draft record) and the Ragan tune is good. What I am waiting for is when they get together in a room and write the new full length...that will be the measure of Hot Water Music moving forward. Also...can't wait to see these guys at Riot Fest East.

laserguidedbygod (August 4, 2011)

"As a longtime fan, I'm disappointed. It sounds mailed in to me, like two tracks they had lying around from other projects that wouldn't have made the cut for either."

Sums it up pretty much. The guitar tone is so weak on the Ragan track.

TheMike (August 3, 2011)

Good songs by a great band = disappointment. But good songs = good songs nonetheless.

High hopes for the full length.

icapped2pac (August 2, 2011)

As a longtime fan, I'm disappointed. It sounds mailed in to me, like two tracks they had lying around from other projects that wouldn't have made the cut for either. Maybe they will indeed grow on me (I hope so), but I hope the eventual full length will have something more enjoyable.

kursk64 (August 2, 2011)

Songs grow on you after a couple listens. Glad they're back

MuhammadMormon (August 2, 2011)

First thing from HWM I can tell people to avoid.

After, what, 7 years(?), this is a tremendous let-down.

saladfingers (August 2, 2011)

They used 'Between The Lines' for the Better in the Wind Trailer??

maverick (August 2, 2011)

Wollard's song totally smokes Chuck's. Happy to have both of 'em in my life regardless, though.

-Scott

theproblemwithfire (August 2, 2011)

overrated band is overrated

misterspike (August 2, 2011)

Has it really been 7 years? Wow.

calvinrhodes1 (August 2, 2011)

I am excited!

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