Hot Water Music

Hot Water Music

Live at the Hardback

No Idea

I’ve been going to rock shows ever since I was barely a teenager. I’ve played in a few different bands. I’ve frequented punk dives pretty much every place I’ve lived for the past ten years. Suffice it to say, I’ve been to a lot of shows. And one of the things I’ve realized is that there is nothing, let me repeat NOTHING, like a Hot Water Music show at the Hardback. If you can imagine having no such thing as personal space, sweating your ass off, singing even though you can barely breathe, having beer spilled on you at least five times, and loving every moment of it, then you’re starting to get close.

Unfortunately, after eleven years, the Hardback is no more. When I moved away from Gainesville last year, word had come down that Hot Water Music was breaking up and that they were going to play their last ever show at the Hardback. I moved away before the show went down. What I heard later through the grapevine is that fans had come from all over the place to see this show, even flying in from halfway around the world. I also heard that the band had indeed not broken up, that in the middle of the set they announced their intentions to stick together, and that the place went ape shit. Now, I know all this was true.

If you’ve never experienced HWM live at the Hardback, sorry, but at least you’ll have this record to get you close. If you have been there, you’ve got this record to bring you back. I don’t know how they ever pulled this recording off without having the recording equipment broken in the process, but they did, and it even sounds pretty good. If you’re expecting some doctored, mistake-covered recording, well, you probably aren’t into this band anyway.

There’s 12 songs here, spanning time from the first song the band ever wrote all the way to some brand new material and a Leatherface cover. There’s some cool between-song banter, including a beautiful moment when someone in the band asks the bass player to play the beginning of the next song, because he can’t remember it. As is usual with No Idea releases, the packaging artwork is great. The inlay includes an explanation of sorts for each of the songs along with some great pictures and a parting shot of the Hardback.

No Idea Fanzines & Records, P.O. Box 14636, Gainesville, FL 32604

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