I wasn’t really a Hot Water Music fan growing up. I’ve seen them live with Bad Religion once, and heard sporadic songs but I just never really got into their music, until now. I’ve turned into a big Chuck Ragan fan and absolutely love his solo material so it only made sense to circle back around to Hot Water Music.
I have to listen to the older Hot Water Music’s…um music again, but Exister is an awesome punk rock album! This is their first full length album since 2004’s The New What’s Next. From what I remember, Exister sounds a lot more cleaner, crisper and just overall better than anything Hot Water Music has done before. Just hearing a song like “State of Grace” is a good example of how much better Hot Water Music sounds than they did before. The beginning of the album is really strong, and so is the end. Besides “Mainline” and “State of Grace,” “The Traps” is one of my favorites on the album. The entire album is nearly perfect for me.
I’ll admit, their earlier stuff is kind of meh to me. That’s probably why I never really got into the band. There was something that was missing from their music back then (for me). Not enough angst? I don’t know. You get so oversaturated with punk rock bands in the 90s,/00s, you select and choose ones that make more of an impact and HWM were never that band for me. That’s just my opinion obviously and something has changed with the band that I think is for the better!
Thankfully Exister is an up-tempo, driven punk album with a lot of aggro riffs. I seriously think having Chuck Ragan go on his own, mature musically and developed his solo career has made Hot Water Music’s material stronger. This album has been out for awhile now but if you haven’t checked it out, you’re missing out!
Bottom Line: This is the best album from Hot Water Music!
Notable Tracks: Mainline, State of Grace, Drag My Body, The Traps