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Hot Water Music - Vows (Album Review)

Friday, 17 May 2024 Written by Emma Wilkes

Photo: Jesse Korman

There’s something about Hot Water Music’s latest outing that feels, in the purest sense possible, truly victorious. It takes their discography into double figures and underlines their heavy influence over a generation of gruffly emotive punk bands, displaying a sound that’s been sharpened to a point over the past 30 years.

They’ve brought some friends along to the party in the form of Turnstile, City and Color, Thrice and The Interrupters but, for the most part, the Gainesville band remain steadfast and dependable. And it’s hardly a criticism that ‘Vows’ sounds exactly like a Hot Water Music record. 

They crash in with opener Menace, which glimmers with bright guitar chords and a sense of big-hearted rowdiness, while the skyscraping Burn Forever and the crunchy riffs of Remnants push the band’s sharper, grittier side into the foreground. 

Later, Chewing On Broken Glass offers a choppy, jaunty slice of rugged punk mayhem, closing the book on a front-loaded first half. 

They’ve got balladry all covered, too. After The Impossible swells beautifully with its soaring guitar line and a stellar guest turn from Dallas Green of Alexisonfire and City And Color, while Side Of The Road is a quietly majestic ode to relinquishing control and pushing forwards irrespective of the obstacles life throws. 

It’s a much-needed highlight in a not entirely flawless second half, which is perhaps lacking some of the standout moments that the first stanza possesses. In particular, closer Much Love suffers by burying the contributions of The Interrupters a little. All things considered, though, ‘Vows’ is another excellent contribution to Hot Water Music’s already stacked discography, displaying just why they have been able to stand strong through three decades, two break-ups and countless passing trends. 

Hot Water Music Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri May 17 2024 - DALLAS Texas - South Side Music Hall (USA)
Sat May 18 2024 - SAN ANTONIO Texas - Paper Tiger (USA)
Sun May 19 2024 - AUSTIN Texas - Mohawk (USA)
Thu June 13 2024 - LOUISVILLE Kentucky - Mercury Ballroom (USA)
Fri June 14 2024 - CLEVELAND Ohio - House Of Blues - Cleveland (USA)
Sat June 15 2024 - CHICAGO Illinois - Concord Music Hall (USA)
Sun June 16 2024 - ST LOUIS Missouri - Delmar Hall (USA)
Mon June 17 2024 - LAWRENCE Kansas - Liberty Hall - KS (USA)
Tue June 18 2024 - DENVER Colorado - Ogden Theatre (USA)
Thu June 20 2024 - MESA Arizona - Nile Theater (USA)
Fri June 21 2024 - SAN DIEGO California - House of Blues San Diego (USA)
Sat June 22 2024 - SANTA ANA California - Observatory - Santa Ana (USA)
Sun June 23 2024 - LOS ANGELES California - Belasco (USA)
Mon June 24 2024 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Great American Music Hall (USA)
Tue June 25 2024 - SACRAMENTO California - Ace of Spades (USA)
Thu June 27 2024 - PORTLAND Oregon - Revolution Hall Portland (USA)
Fri June 28 2024 - SEATTLE Washington - Showbox (USA)
Sat June 29 2024 - VANCOUVER British Columbia - Commodore Ballroom (Canada)

Thu November 07 2024 - MUNSTER Skaters Palace (Germany)
Fri November 08 2024 - HANOVER Capitol (Germany)
Sat November 09 2024 - AMSTERDAM Melkweg (Netherlands)
Sun November 10 2024 - ANTWERP Trix (Belgium)
Tue November 12 2024 - STUTTGART LKA Longhorn (Germany)
Wed November 13 2024 - MUNICH Muffathalle (Germany)
Thu November 14 2024 - VIENNA SiMM City (Austria)
Fri November 15 2024 - LEIPZIG Falsenkeller (Germany)
Sat November 16 2024 - BERLIN Huxleys (Germany)
Mon November 18 2024 - STOCKHOLM TBA (Sweden)
Tue November 19 2024 - GOTHENBURG TBA (Sweden)
Wed November 20 2024 - COPENHAGEN TBA (Denmark)
Thu November 21 2024 - HAMBURG Grosse Freiheit (Germany)
Fri November 22 2024 - WIESBADEN Schlachthof (Germany)
Sat November 23 2024 - COLOGNE Palladium (Germany)

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Fri 15 Mar 2024
Hot Water Music Share New Singles Remnants With Turnstile And Fences Featuring Thrice
Thu 15 Feb 2024
Hot Water Music Announce New Album 'Vows', Share Two Singles Menace And Burn Forever
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