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Hot Water Music

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.