Album Reviews

Light It Up
Hot Water Music - Light It Up
9.0
 on
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 19:15
submitted by
Thomas

As soon as opening track “Complicated” bursts out of the speakers, you know you are listening to a Hot Water Music album. It’s full throttle, all racing drums and smooth bass runs coupled to Chuck Ragan’s gruff-doesn’t-quite-cover-it vocals and those trademark riffs that are lean, muscular, flexible, steroid-driven and lots of other adjectives that one usually associates with Russian gymnasts with unpronounceable names.

 

And from there on the Florida legends just keep going, hardly ever taking their foot off the gas. “Show Your Face”, the slightly Springsteen-esque “Never Going Back” and the slightly menacing “Sympathizer”, which leads up to one of the most intensely satisfying finales. All of them tracks that are just begging to be belted along live, none more so than the whoa’s in “Bury Your Idols”. Then there’s the title track, a short firecracker that sounds like Hot Water Music channeling their inner Bad Religion, bookended by the more smoldering “High Class Catastrophe” and “Take You Away” on the other side of the album.

 

“Light It Up” is the band’s first self-produced album since “Fuel For The Hate Game” and if things sound a little rough around the edges here and there, then you know why now. But it’s a vibe that suits them. And after more than two decades in the game, they probably know best just what a Hot Water Music album should sound like. Hardly surprising. What could be considered somewhat surprising though is that a band that has been around this long, still manages to sound this vital and capable of… well, lighting it up.

 

Track listing:

  1. Complicated
  2. Light It Up
  3. Show Your Face
  4. Never Going Back
  5. Rabbit Key
  6. Sympathizer
  7. Vultures
  8. Bury Your Idols
  9. Overload
  10. High Class Catastrophe
  11. Hold Out
  12. Take You Away