Gainesville band on the boil 


Hot Water Music, the largely DIY post-hardcore quartet from Gainesville, is about to release its most mature work to date. "No Division" (due Aug. 10; MP3s now available) is a punishing celebration -- call it "melodic-core" -- for the youth brigade the band attracts.

From the same town as better-known contemporaries Less Than Jake and Sister Hazel, Hot Water Music was started in 1994 by bass player Jason Black with Sarasota high-school buddies drummer George Rebelo, guitarist/vocalist Chris Wollard, rounded out by guitarist/vocalist Chuck Ragan.

After a couple of years of on-the-road action -- and EPs and full-lengths on a number of labels -- the band called it quits. "We decided we would rather save our friendships than save the band," says Black.

But what was supposed to be the final show turned into a reunion, when, after only a short break, the guys determined that life was better as a band.

Now with five years under its collective belt, Hot Water Music is finishing a tour with Leatherface, as a follow-up to the just-released nifty shared CD on BYO Records ("Vol. 1 -- BYO Split Series"). Come August, they'll be pushing "No Division," on Some Records, the band's fourth full release.

"The new album is kind of a departure for us," Black explains. "It has catchier and shorter songs and is definitely more rhythmic. We wanted it to be a little more in-your-face and dancey like the Clash."

And if the vocals and rhythms on "No Division" are not Clashy enough, there is no escaping the very Clash-like percussion break on "Hit and Miss."

Recorded at Montana Studios in Richmond, Va., "No Division" includes an ode to Hardback ("Southeast First" ) and one in support of a teen-operated pirate-radio station ("Free Radio Gainesville" ).

"It was the first time we recorded out of town, but it really didn't feel like we were gone," says Black. "There is a really weird connection between people in Gainesville and people in Richmond. It's like the same town but in two different places."

For clarification, the band takes its name from a short story by Charles Bukowski. No need to look for any deeper connection.

"One of us was reading a book by Bukowski at the time and it just sounded all right. Sometimes people will bring up the raunchiness of his writing, but hey, it's just the name of the band. Sorry if that is more shallow than you had hoped for."


More by Randy Matin

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