Official site: hotwatermusic.com
It's a balmy spring day and I'm sitting outside a dilapidated ballroom somewhere in Long Island. It's halfway through an eight band bill, and I'm in the throes of what is shaping up to be a long day, feeling sorry for myself under the hot sun.
Then, from out of nowhere comes a red van. It screeches up, comes to an abrupt stop, and out of it comes a savagely barbed man of about 25, looking as if he might have walked off the set of Deliverance. Trailing him in file are a black haired matinee idol, a slightly scruffy, seemingly giant maladroit of about 27, and a pleasantly cherubic, cigarette sporting fellow with the world's most perfectly creased baseball lid covering the better part of his face. These characters, I am told by the show's promoter, are Chuck, George, Chris and Jason, collectively know to thousands of rabid children as Hot Water Music.
Needless to say, I'd heard a lot about them. Single-handed mantle carriers of the post-hardcore scene, they had been criss-crossing the country some 250 days of the previous year, stirring up disaffected youth everywhere they went. Sheltered northern soul that I am, this is the first time I've laid eyes on them. Nonetheless, only moments after we are introduced, I can hardly believe how damn friendly they are.
And then Hot Water Music takes the stage. Like a group of primalists around a campfire, the band proceeds to transform a crowd of bored teenagers into the kind of mobilized unit you might find at an English labor rally. Kids are singing along, dancing wildly or, like myself, simply staring in amazement. Leaving a day of malaise behind, I feel like I'm watching the Business taking a whack at Fugazi's Repeater. I decided on the spot that, if there was one band I wanted to sign, this group of piecemeal Southern misfits was it.
Since that fateful day things have happened quickly for the band. Now one of the premier touring bands in the country, Hot Water Music routinely draw crowds of 1000 or more in places as disparate as Philadelphia, Detroit, Boston, and Atlanta. Since the release of the band's most recent full-length album and Some Records debut, they have covered the US with Sick Of It All and AFI as well as a late winter tour with Saves The Day. This past summer they took the stage as part of the Van's Warped Tour, with the likes of NOFX, Green Day, MXPX, and The Bosstones.