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Hot Water Music – Shake Up the Shadows [Epitaph]

7 July 2019

Hot Water Music, celebrating twenty-five years, have released the EP, Shake Up the Shadows on Epitaph. As with all of their releases, it is filled with raw emotion, super tight rhythms, all five songs inviting scream-alongs. I once read HWM described as Bruce Springsteen being backed by Fugazi. I could certainly see that as a decent analogy for their earlier recordings but on their most recent LPs, Exister [2012] and Light It Up [2017] both on Rise Records, I think they have toned down the angular Fugazi and ramped up the melodic hook style of Bad Religion [see especially on “Denatured” from this latest EP]. In all fairness to the band, they own their own sound, one carved out over the years through sweat and hard work. “Rebellion Song” is 100% pure Hot Water Music and easily one of their best. As always, Jason Black’s bass is on fire and on “By Any Means”, his mastery is in full display. Get out and support HWM when they arrive in your town, and if they are new to you, I am envious as you are about to discover eight fantastic studio albums, two live CDs, and 20-plus EPs, splits, etc. Chuck Ragan, Chris Wollard, Jason Black, and George Rebelo have created a legacy and a sound that are instantly recognizable.