Hot Water Music
Forever and Counting
So here's the thing about Hot Water Music. They used to be really awesome. I know you may find that hard to believe but it's true. It's not their fault for what happened to them. This might be confusing… Let me start at the beginning.
So in 1990, when I was first discovering hardcore, skateboarding and punk rock and a band called FUEL put out their masterpiece titled Monuments to Excess. I think I had heard bits of it at Seattle's Gotcha Grind when I was seeing Tony Hawk and Tommy Guerrero skate (I actually can't remember if they were there. I was 15 and all I cared about was my new mini-cab skateboard and getting to see who was also riding Slimeball wheels). Anyway, It was a big deal year for me. Jump ahead a few years and I am playing in Undertow and touring a bunch and I rediscover the Fuel lp. It's amazing–the guitar interplay, the half shouted vocals, the mid paced songs that although akin to Fugazi, were their own thing. It was mind blowing. I listened to that damn record hundreds of times. It became legendary in my head. In 1995 when on tour with Coalesce, Bloodlet and 108 I discovered Hot Water Music. Emo wasn't a thing yet and if it was it was pretty much used to refer to Rites of Spring and that was about it. Rites of Spring by the way, along with Galleon's Lap, are pretty much the only two "emo" bands that have ever existed as far as I am concerned. I am rambling… So while on tour I discover a Hot Water Music lp. My buddy Var knew those dudes and had good things to say (Var and his girlfriend, who's name I have forgotten, had rescued my pillow from their house in Gainsville, FL and brought it to me in Tampa so I had something to sleep on. They ruled…). I picked up the record on their recommendation and the cover art. Lo and behold, it sounded exactly like Fuel. In almost every way. It was a little derivative but I was totally into it. It was a great record that I played constantly when not playing Jesus Lizard (weird, I know) and later that year in Seattle I saw them play a basement to ten people and it was amazing. I knew the sky was the limit for these guys. Unfortunately it was…
Hot Water Music started popping up everywhere. They were ubiquitous with this new world of "emo" music. Bands that I had never heard of and bands that completely sucked were swinging their arms around Hot Water Music. Hot Water Music was on every tour opening for these total shit pop bands in the year that genres started to cannibalize themselves. Pretty soon the only bands that played together were bands that sounded the same. It was horror. No more could you walk to a show and catch a crusty punk band play, then a noise artist, then a riot girl band, then a death metal band, then a hardcore band and then a Hot Water Music and have everyone in the club/basement/VFW hall have a great time. Hot Water Music, unwittingly I assume, became the ambassadors of the Hot Topic-ification of music and the world in general. It was sad. It all ended and we went into our caves.
So that brings me to this cassette. First of all putting this on cassette is kind of a fuck you. This is how I listened to all this music on tour back then. This is basically a reminder that I am old. Not even that I am old but that I never cashed in when I was young and I am now reminded that I am just a fucking loser. Getting this tape in the mail is like getting a Christmas card from your ex-wife and her new husband. It burns and reminds you that only a few get to be happy and the rest of you are fucked… okay, maybe that is a bit ridiculous and hyperbolic but this is really a strange choice for me. It seems directed at my "generation" and that kind of angers me. My generation was forgotten and glossed over while our heroes were turned to whores and I don't want to be reminded of how it was. I need one of those Total Recall machines. The nice thing about this cassette is, although I am fighting it, the memories. It sounds bad like all music in the early 90's sounded. The singing is sad and sweet. The artwork is still awesome but I just can't do it. You can't bring that love back. Not after what I have seen.
Would I buy this? I wouldn't do that to myself. (DJ)