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Hot Water Music | Flight and a Crash | review | punk | rock | Lollipop

Hot Water Music

A Flight and a Crash (Epitaph)
by Tim Den

Just when I thought I'd had enough of these prolific Floridians, they surprise me with what just might be their best work yet. A Flight and a Crash continues No Division's Leatherface-sing-a-longs, but with more coherent melodies and song development. When the Hot Water Music boys tried that trick previously, they stumbled all over themselves only to come up with cheesy lyrics and half-assed anthems. All in the good name of "taking it to the next step," of course, but the results were amateurish. They've nailed it this time, however. They've streamlined the ubiquitous "breakdown-part-at-the-end-of-every-song" bug out of the formula with grace, and filled the vacancy with meaningful development. Take, for instance, "Paper Thin"'s pretty little intro guitar lick and "Choked and Separated"'s stop-and-go rhythm section: Ah, maturity, how nice of you to finally show up.

It doesn't stop there. "Instrumental" (which, incidentally, isn't one) is filled with unpredictable octaves and strange key changes (although the octaves thing is getting a bit old), "In the Gray" contains a soaring backwards guitar effect, and "She Takes it So Well" transforms the band from four grizzly, yelling guys into a gentle wave of heartbreak. They've finally learned how to harness their raw, emotional outbursts and refine them.

Brian McTernan's studio magic makes the band sound better than ever, A Flight and a Crash being the album that'll distinguish this band from the rest of the Avail clones. Don't worry, my little loyal patch-and-backpack-wearing gremlins, your favorite sons haven't lost the adrenalized delivery, they just do it with the finesse of adults now.
(2798 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026)

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