Hot Water Music has torn up punk venues around the world for more than ten years, so it should come as no surprise that the band's 2004 tour sounds a little different from some of its earlier output. Poppier song structures and a stronger sense of melody make this year's The New What Next possibly Hot Water's most accessible record yet. But this is no radio-friendly cash grab. The Florida foursome's latest is the sound of punk veterans getting their second rock-and-roll wind. While blistering anthems like "Poison" and "All Heads Down" contain plenty of the band's trademark anger and angularity, slow-burners such as "Under Everything" and metallic waltzes like "Keep It Together" prove these old dogs have a few new tricks up the sleeves of their tight black T-shirts. Hairlines may be receding, but Hot Water Music's passion and purity are still right where they started.
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