Hot Water Music/Clairmel
“Macho,” “testosterone,” and “manly” are all words that are often used as negative criticisms within the punk rock scene, but I can’t imagine an accurate description of Hot Water Music existing that doesn’t use those words in a very positive way. I’m talking about the classic, blue-collar definition of a Man, not the misconstrued shirtless/braindead thugs that have to “mosh” at shows. Manly in the context of sacrifice and an honest day’s work. It comes through in everything they do. It’s in their music, their lyrics, and in the between song banter at shows. The two songs on the Hot Water Music side of this split record offer an excellent representation of this. “Things on a Dashboard” is a sincere song about being in a band on the road pulling into Anytown, USA. “Elektra” was inspired by their battle with Elektra Records over the rights to the Hot Water Music name. It’s one of those rare David vs. Goliath battles in which the good guys came out on top.
Tampa’s Clairmel plays gritty, no-nonsense punk rock as well. It’s more in the Jawbreaker/Husker Du vein than what HWM does, but it’s music characterized by honestly and integrity as well. When Clairmel’s first CD came out, I listened to that thing all the time for weeks straight. This reminds me of that time, but the two songs here seem more immediate and intense that the usual Clairmel fare. They provide a fitting counterpart to the HWM side.
No Idea deserves mention here as well, for continually releasing high quality homegrown bands. All parties involved with this record deserve to be heard and supported. No Idea Records, P.O. Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604