13 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's been eight years since Hot Water Music's last studio album; Chuck Ragan went solo, and the others performed as The Draft. Yet the band has been playing together again for the past four, which ensures that the Gainesville, Fla., boys (now men) are firing at full capacity for this new phase of their career. The band members' punk influences are modified to let them better explore the melodies and the joys of being a straightforward rock 'n' roll group, with heartland touches peeking through. Tunes like "Drag My Body," "Safety," "Pledge Wore Thin," and "Drown In It" earn a gravitas that the band would've bulldozed with pure aggression in its early years; now they politely color with a variety of guitar and rhythmic approaches. They even swing at times. The band long ago escaped the emo tag, and while the manicured harmonies of "Wrong Way" lean toward the old days, there's enough raw power here to prove the band is still looking for fresh ways to reinvent itself.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It's been eight years since Hot Water Music's last studio album; Chuck Ragan went solo, and the others performed as The Draft. Yet the band has been playing together again for the past four, which ensures that the Gainesville, Fla., boys (now men) are firing at full capacity for this new phase of their career. The band members' punk influences are modified to let them better explore the melodies and the joys of being a straightforward rock 'n' roll group, with heartland touches peeking through. Tunes like "Drag My Body," "Safety," "Pledge Wore Thin," and "Drown In It" earn a gravitas that the band would've bulldozed with pure aggression in its early years; now they politely color with a variety of guitar and rhythmic approaches. They even swing at times. The band long ago escaped the emo tag, and while the manicured harmonies of "Wrong Way" lean toward the old days, there's enough raw power here to prove the band is still looking for fresh ways to reinvent itself.

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