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appears on Exister (2012)
Regardless of your opinion on punk rock and its various extremities, from the raging hardcore variants to the decidedly brass-focused ska punk, there’s nothing that quite sells a solid punk sound like a unique vocalist. Chuck Ragan, frontman of our pick for the week Hot Water Music, is exactly that; a man with a voice that could melt butter at a hundred paces and my heart personally at far fewer paces than that.
But enough about how much I goddamn love punk music all over again, let’s get to the good stuff. Born out of Gainsville, Florida (also home of the brass-focused Less Than Jake, and also Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!), Hot Water Music are a three times launched affair after breakups in both 1998 and 2008. Like a certain sewer clown if it could write a banging punk tune, though, they’ve returned to influence hearts and minds every set period of time and, insanely, with the same line-up every time. Most bands can’t go two minutes without a good breakup or members leaving, so it’s certainly refreshing to see familiar faces three times over.
Each time they’ve come back it has been with new treats, and our pick for the Rock Song of the Week this time around is no different. “State of Grace” is a silky-smooth bit of melancholy that charges along heart-first and takes no time at all to get lodged in that bit of your head that recognises good tunes. You’d lose any number of keeping quiet contests your parents could throw at you with this on in the background – though if they set you some sort of head-bobbing challenge in a remarkably avant-garde attempt at parenting, this would be the one to do it with.
If you like what you hear, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp if the option is available as this is usually the best way to support the artist.
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