Posted by: will | October 3, 2006

The Draft…

BEST NEW MUSIC

The Draft “In A Million Pieces” (Epitaph)

Buy it at Insound!

So, The Draft is the new band from 3/4 of the legendary Hot Water Music. Hot Water Music were one of my favorite bands back in the day. The band’s first two albums, Fuel For The Hate Game and Forever And Counting are downright classics. The band broke up on tour after releasing Forever And Counting and if they had stayed broken up I would probably be walking around with a Hot Water Music tattoo somewhere on my body. However, the band reformed to release four more albums. While those four albums were of strong quality and were surely better than 90% of other bands in their genre of melodic post-hardcore, the band seemed to lose that special something that made their first two albums so incredible.

In A Million Pieces bares unmistakeable similarities to latter day Hot Water Music which is to be expected I guess. What’s different here is hard to put a finger on. The album shows a great deal of maturity and variation. There are the usual hard driving songs that were so accustomed on Hot Water Music albums but there’s also a number of downtempo songs and interesting flourishes throughout the album. There’s a wonderful feeling of optimism here and album opener “New Eyes Open” bares quick proof of that fact. “Let It Go” has an unmistakeable ska feel to it as the guitars jump around the organs in the background. Gone are the gruff vocals of Chuck Ragan and the smooth vocals of Chuck Wollard are finally left to stand on their own. Perhaps that lends to the seemingly renewed focus on melody by The Draft. The organs return on “Bordering” which is one of the strongest tracks here. The guitars slice in and out under the as always exquisite bass lines of Jason Black and the creative drumming of George Rebelo. “Impossible” seems to be the bittersweet song that addresses Hot Water Music’s demise. The lyrics of It’s the right time to pack it up/It’s the right time for a bitter goodbye are offset by backing vocals of Don’t tell me that. It’s certainly a sad song but one that I’m sure the guys felt the need to write. “Wired” has some surprising horns that pop up and they do an excellent job of highlighting the infectious chorus. “Longshot” echoes the past and sounds a whole hell of a lot like Hot Water Music…in a mighty good way.

It seemed by the end that Hot Water Music was going through the motions to a certain degree. That was disappointing especially considering how much love I had for the band at one time. Perhaps that’s why The Draft’s debut record, In A Million Pieces sounds and feels so incredibly fresh. It’s a chance for a new beginning and it seems like the guys have embraced that to the highest degree. Hot Water Music was a huge part of these guys’ lives as well as mine and it’s nice to know they still got plenty of juice left in the tank.

RIYL: Hot Water Music, Avail, Rise Against

Listen:

The Draft – New Eyes Open (mp3)

The Draft – Lo Zee Rose (mp3)

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Responses

  1. […] good live and I thoroughly enjoyed In A Million Pieces, the band’s debut (which I reviewed here). It was no surprise that lead man Chris Wollard was nice and drunk by the time the band took the […]


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