I realised last week that for a blog called punk rock Buddhist I have reviewed very little punk music for this 30 week challenge. So to rectify this situation let me introduce one of the best punk bands to ever do it. This week we have Hot Water Music and their second album “forever and counting”.
Let me start by saying that if you are a fan of modern punk you might struggle with the sound of this album. It’s awesome but if you are looking for a production budget, there isn’t one. This album is as raw as you can get. What you can get away with now with little money is light years away from what you could manage in 1997. I’m sounding like I’m having a go but I’m really not, this is a gem of an album.
From the opening few seconds this album slams into top gear and doesn’t stop for a second. Audio aside you can’t argue with the quality of the songs on “forever and counting”. The duel vocal attack of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard soar above the huge slam of music underneath, giving the whole album a huge layer of emotional depth. Also I need to point out that if scotch whisky and malbro reds had a voice I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they sounded like Chuck Ragan. Gravelly doesn’t even begin to cover it.
The level of musicianship can’t be faulted, considering that these guys where only on their second album. I must also give a huge shout out to the bass player Jason Black. As a middling bassist myself I am envious of his playing on this album. His bass lines fly in and out of the crunching guitar riffs and are a massive part of hot water music’s sound.
When these guys reformed a few years ago it was fantastic. The album they made was really awesome and they have a new album due out this year. Hopefully they should start to receive even more praise and exposure because I truly believe that they haven’t been given the credit they deserve. In the punk (post hardcore etc if you want to be a pedant) landscape they really are one of the greats and everyone with functioning taste should at least give them a listen.