Friday, May 18, 2012

Album Review: Exister

Title:  Exister (Amazon, iTunes, Interpunk)

Hot Water Music’s first new record in eight years is an excellent example of why they have been such a huge influence on so many bands.  While Exister isn’t the band’s best record, it is still an excellent one and it showcases just why this band has become so legendary.  You see some bands become huge stars and some become launching pads for disaffected kids in their garages with guitars.  The Velvet Underground was one such band, as was Husker Du, and so is Hot Water Music.  The people that listened to this band’s music were inspired to pick up instruments of their own and an entire sub-genre was born (just think of how often you see or hear bands compared to or described as sounding like Hot Water Music). 

Exister does what any good HWM record does, it combines classic rock ‘n’ roll hooks and melodies with angular post hardcore rhythms and drive by deep, throaty, and gravelly vocals.  From beginning to end this is classic HWM and while there aren’t any moments like “Trusty Chords” the record does include some anthems like “State of Grace,” the title track, and “Mainline.”  Two of Exister’s best moments are the last two tracks “The Traps” and “Paid in Full” (see below).  Both songs are classic HWM and as close as Exister gets to a “Trusty Chords,” “No Division,” or “Wayfarer.”  All of that having been said, this is a great album; one of the downsides to producing some classic records is that the bar is set pretty bloody high, so when a record comes out that is really good but not quite as good as a past effort it is often seen as a disappointment.  Hopefully that won’t be the case here with HWM fans.  Let’s also hope that we don’t have to wait another eight years for the next record.  

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