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Hot Water Music

Til the Wheels Fall Off | No Idea
By DAVID BOFFA  |  March 25, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
The post-hardcore act Hot Water Music recently reunited after a three-year hiatus, and Wheels, a compilation of pre-break-up B-sides and covers, tells the story of singer Chuck Ragan’s disillusionment with life on the road — he gets homesick, misses loved ones, and on a few of the previously unreleased cuts even hates music. Meanwhile, punk-rock guitar rhythms are stretched thin as arpeggiated leads build to punch-less choruses. But when the band allow lighter moods to prevail, Ragan begins to sound more at home, as on a cover of Alkaline Trio’s pop-punk tune “Radio,” where he snarls about his “big fat fucking bone to pick.” And HWM’s take on Springsteen’s “No Surrender,” an ode to rock-star dreams, blends teenage idealism and gritty power punk. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that two guitars playing the same power chords isn’t always a bad thing.
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