Hot Water Music: Exister

A welcome return.

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It’s eight long years since we last heard from Florida’s Hot Water Music, which has given them plenty of time to muse on the state of the world.

Musically, their reference points remain impeccable – the rolling melodies and starkly beautiful guitars of Jawbox, the raw post-hardcore edge of Quicksand, the defiant punk chops of Leatherface – only now, in their maturity, they’re embracing the Springsteenian blue-collar pop rock of Gaslight Anthem too, all dragged along by frontman Chuck Regan’s instantly recognisable rock-and-ash-gargling rasp.

It’s a fitting development, as lyrically they’re taking a good hard look at everyday America, from deadbeat lifestyles and rampant consumerism. There’s joy here too though, particularly in the gruffly optimistic opener Mainline, which sees them celebrating being back after so long.

As Exister barrels along at a relentless pace, the band’s unfailing loyal fanbase are sure to be raising a glass to their return as well.

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.