Hot Water Music/Clairmel
Moonpies For Misfits Split
Hot Water Music
Hot Water Music have released a lot of records this year, No Division being the latest and by far my favorite yet. Each release has found them getting catchier and more anthemic, keeping the emotion and sincerity right up front where it belongs all the while. Not a whole lot of surprises on here musically, other than the use of slide guitar and what sounds like a drum circle on one song each. There's a natural maturation as far as these songs being better than their older ones, but otherwise this is pretty much what one would hope for and expect from Hot Water Music, in all its gritty honesty, soaring melodies, fluid power, and voices raised in singalongs. Songs are penned straight from the heart, making it very easy to be pulled in. Lyrics stay positive even through hard times and deal with friendships, personal issues, and ideas of community and action. The stellar element on this is the overall thread of hopefulness and encouragement running through the songs that leaves me inspired and singing along at full volume. There are have been some rough days where this music has definitely been lifeblood keeping me going. It reminds me that I can -- we can -- accomplish anything. Great recording, packaging, great overall.
Moonpies For Misfits has four songs recorded in the spring of 1998. The songs are rougher around the edges, for sure, but they still have that same poignant, honest quality that pulls at my insides. The studio versions of "Where We Belong" and "Moments Pass," first heard on Live at the Hardback , can be found here. The other two are new. This is available as a CD EP or as two separate seven inches.
The Clairmel/Hot Water Music split was originally released as an 8.5" and has now finally made its way to digital format with similar packaging, only smaller and easier to get the recording out of. Clairmel, a band from Tampa, is gritty, melodic, urgent, and honest. They seem to hide away and pop up every now and then with some great songs. The HWM songs are classic, "Elektra" in particular, which is about the rather ugly fight with Elektra Records over the use of the name "Hot Water Music," a fight our boys ended up winning in spite of some underhanded trickery. Damn right.
As I said, an inspiring band.
No Idea Records, P.O. Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604, firstname.lastname@example.org; Some Records, 122 West 29th St., 4th Fl., New York, NY 10001; www.some.com