H

H2O

Thicker Than Water

Epitaph

H20, judging from all their t-shirts I see at every HC show in town, seems to be at the vanguard of the second or third generation of successful New York Hard Core () bands. And rightly so, as their sound defines what NYHC is supposed to sound like. Fast, unforgiving, intimidating, yet melodic, music that has something to say. I’m thinking back to the days of the Crumbsuckers and Agnostic Front, that’s real, serious hard-core. Why not? There’s “classic rock,” how about “classic hard-core”?

Classic in the sense that H2O play anthems, like “I See It In Us” and “Everready.” True anthems in the sense that the choruses sound like a Marine Corps battalion is backing the band! “Go” and “Scarred” are two more classic “pick yourself up by your bootstraps” anthems. (That’s the positive message behind hard-core.) Thicker Than Water also contains the only hard-core love ballad, “Sacred Heart” I’ve ever heard. Which provides the missing link between NYHC and do-wop music! Seriously! It’s (my guess) front man Toby Morse singing about marrying his wife Kimberly. Yeah, it’s raging HC, but, oh, so tender! Yes! A hard-core ballad! Applause!

Thicker Than Water is probably the best hard-core album you’ll hear before 2000 rolls around. Fifteen songs in all, and all of it is classic NYHC, as they say, ahem “WORD!!!”

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