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Hot Water Music - Exister (Album Review)

Friday, 11 May 2012 Written by Ben Bland
Hot Water Music - Exister (Album Review)

I wouldn’t have placed any bets against Hot Water Music reforming. I possibly would have placed bets against Hot Water Music releasing a comeback album that lived up to expectations. That would have been a stupid move. 'Exister' is pretty much everything you could have wanted the band’s comeback record to be.

What Hot Water Music have done brilliantly here is dance around the big gaping hole in the floor that is ‘pressure’. This record sounds as if they never had anything to prove and as if they never split up in the first place. The attitude is pure “we’re a good rock band, let’s go into a studio and record some good rock songs…job done”. 'Exister' gives the impression of being so effortless that any struggling songwriters listening may well break down in tears.

Opener 'Mainline' carries on where the band left off, with Chuck Ragan’s wonderfully gravelly tones and straight to the point punk rock guitars. There are no experimental touches or unnecessary histrionics to say “we’re back”, there is just a great band doing what they always did best, rock.

Now for the caveat; 'Exister' is at times a little too effortless. There are a couple of moments when Hot Water Music take their foot off the gas just a bit. For example, when compared to the rest of the record, the second and third tracks, 'Boy, You’re Gonna Hurt Someone' and 'State of Grace', just seem a little underdone. On first listen they are going to cause no qualms but they really don’t stand up to the majority of material on the album. Out of the thirteen tracks here, ten are fantastic. The three others would not be missed had they not been included.

Frankly though, to criticise 'Exister' too much on that front would be futile. All in all this is a great return from a band that should be treasured for their sincerity and dedication to their signature sound. Hot Water Music would not make any sense if they did anything too ‘out
there’; that is not what this band has ever been about. Their legacy will be the catalogue of fantastic songs that they leave behind. We should all feel lucky that there will be more to come.

'Exister' is out on Monday 14th May via Rise Records.

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