September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Hot Water Music – Live in Chicago

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Hot Water Music

Live in Chicago

No Idea

Street: 10.28.12

Hot Water Music = Small Brown Bike + Avail + Polar Bear Club

Recorded live over two nights shortly after these raspy-voiced rapscallions reunited following a two-year hiatus, Live in Chicago is an amazing document for hardcore HWM fans. That said, newcomers—and probably even casual fans—will find the sheer amount of content daunting. Both the LP and CD versions feature 30 songs, spanning the band’s days as southern Florida basement dwellers to post-millennial interpunk icons. The CD version is accompanied by a 24-song DVD, which features one extra song (“Poison,” which is a forgivable omission). This really is a great representation of the band in its latter-day incarnation, as they rip through their more polished Epitaph-era songs with fervor (“Trusty Chords,” “A Flight and a Crash”), but are still able to lend some rawness to older tunes such as “220 Years” and “Alachua.” Newer fans would do well to stick to other albums, but die-hards will enjoy the hell out of this gargantuan heap of Hot Water Music. –Ricky Vigil