Hot Water Music

No Division

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The fourth full-length from this post-rock/hardcore/punk rock quartet is really just more of the same, but the same really isn't so bad. Those who love the band will certainly find it appealing, but those who were drawn in by earlier efforts will probably notice that the styles start to get a bit tired and that this record is at times a rehash of previous outings. With chugging guitars, plenty of energy, throaty screamed vocals, and no overwhelming hooks, the opening "Southeast First" is a pretty clear indication of what is to come. Amidst the usual crunchy noise, there are some interesting new guitar sounds the group experiments with on this record, and there are also some interesting new song structures given a preliminary run-through. From straight punk rock efforts to much more restrained and laid-back numbers, Hot Water Music made this record with no pretenses, and while it doesn't succeed in all aspects, they certainly couldn't be bothered. Triumphantly declaring their feelings on the endearing "Our Own Way," the band explains, "Who gives a f*ck what anybody says/We'll live and love until we're dead/Holding on to what we've come to know." HWM exist in a unique niche, and those who have grown to love it will certainly accept this album into loving arms. It isn't as strong as the records that preceded it, but, at the end of the day, anything this band has to offer is still a lot more honest and explosive than what most of their peers have.

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