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Album Review: Light It Up by Hot Water Music

Florida’s Hot Water Music release their new album Light It Up on 15th September via Rise Records. “The most exciting part about this record for us was self-producing and being in control from start to finish,” the band said about Light It Up. “We haven’t made a record this way since Fuel For the Hate Game. As frightening as it was to not have the safety net and sounding board of a producer, it was just as liberating to make a record that is 100% Hot Water Music, scars and all.”

With near 25 years’ experience and onto their eighth album, Hot Water Music sound surprisingly fresh and invigorated on Light It Up. Perhaps it’s the self-production that’s helped them rediscover the spark of their earlier work, perhaps it’s just a mark of the bands quality that they’re still remaining vital and relevant. Either way stick Light It Up and enjoy the raucous punk.

While it’s an enjoyable record and one you’ll find relatable it lacks staying power and punch. Unfortunately, it isn’t a record that commands your attention, you’ll find your mind wandering and you’ll lose focus. Things start off well with ‘Complicated’ and title track ‘Light It Up’ but save for the occasional riff it’ll disappear into the background. It’s not until ‘Bury Your Idols’ and the Bad Religion feel of ‘Overload’ that you’re drawn back into the album. These tracks are urgent and immediate, giving a feel of punk rebellion.

Then there’s the moments where Hot Water Music try a little too hard. ‘High Class Catastrophe’ is decent, but with Chuck Ragan singing “I’m free to speak my mind” and “give me a reason to fight for you” it all feels a little cringeworthy. Perhaps we’re being a tad over critical, Light It Up is a decent album overall. When they get it right it works wonderfully, there’s just one too many dips.

AD Rating 6.5/10


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