Hot Water Music - "Caution"
Rating: * * *
HOT WATER MUSIC's follow-up to last year's presciently titled A Flight And A Crash takes itself very seriously and begs its istener to do the same. Caution, the Florida-grown emo quartet's seventh album, brims with thick, howling guitars and steady rhythms. The lyrics can be moody and melodramatic: Singer Chris Wollard cries, "You needed the pain to feel you had a connection" on "Not for Anyone," while co-frontman Chuck Ragan warns that "Death won't set us free/Nor will misery" on "Sweet Disasters." But the gloomy rants are offset by a few Fugazi-style yell-alongs, making for a nice balance; touches such as the whoa-oh-ohs on "Wayfarer" and the dueling vocals on "The Sense" are impossible to deny. Just because Caution is serious doesn't mean it can't be fun.