Hot Water Music – [2CD/1DVD]

Saturday, 27 April 2013

As much as punk rock has polished up its image in recent years and no matter how many punk rockers aspire to be “artists” now in the twenty-first century, punk rock music still lives, breathes and thrives best in clubs in front of a live audience. Some punks have big names and reputations now? Big deal – if they can't make their music work for them outside of a safe and sterile recording studio, and if it doesn't sound as good on a small stage as it does pressed into a CD or record or encoded into mp3 format, it's not worth much of anything. That's how it has always been and that is why the members of Hot Water Music made such an effort for their performance and never missed a cue; they just poured everything in them out before a sold-out crowd and let that audience soak it up, and made sure the recorders were rolling captured it all for those who couldn't make it.

All that said, and there's no question that the pressure was on for the band and, after a short “thanks for coming” introduction from Chuck Ragan, Hot Water Music wastes no time and shows those who came to The Metro on a cold winter night that they plan on giving the crowd their money's worth. Over this 2CD/1DVD set, songs from every point in Hot Water Music's career appear in this set, and the band doesn't bother wasting a lot of time or words between songs; they go hard the whole way through. It's kind of incredible to see how well the show holds together, because of the amount of energy and passion poured into it; Chuck Ragan never softens his vocal delivery to ensure he can even speak the next day, and both he and second guitarist Jason Black hammer their instruments hard enough to ensure that they're totally out of tune by the end of each song, while George Rebelo and Chris Wollard hold down a rhythm which is just jaw-dropping in its power and consistency. Fans will be floored at the presentations of songs like “Remedy,” “End Of A Gun,” “Moonpies For Misfits,” “Turnstile” and “Hard To Know”; they won't be able to believe how hard the band is working to ensure that even the folks in the lousy seats at the back of the room feel every hit and are able to take every note home as a fantastic memory.

…And just in case those listening can't believe it – on the off chance this sound was “fixed” in post-production – the DVD included in the Live In Chicago set proves that what listeners heard is exactly what happened. Chuck Ragan really did sing that hard for two nights without blowing his voice out, and the band really did play as hard as those listening to the CDs assumed they had; the proof is in the viewing, and the spectacle is fantastic. Go buy the Hot Water Music Live In Chicago 2CD/1DVD set if you want to be reminded of how good a punk show can be.



Live In Chicago
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

Comments are closed.