Keeping positive punk rock alive and well, Florida's Hot Water Music (pictured) has been gradually building steam since the early '90s. Huge on the coasts, the band matches its frenzied live shows with spot-on commentary on the state of the punk scene, delivered with the fervor only true believers can muster. The band's sound is descended from the glory days of Dischord Records' articulate post-punk bands, such as Jawbox, but if forced to choose between gutsy and cerebral, Hot Water Music goes for gutsy every time. Long a staple of Gainesville's fiercely independent No Idea record label, the band is preparing to make the jump to the relatively cushy (yet sort of independent) Epitaph. For a band so publicly committed to "the kids," it's a slightly risky move, and whether their fans will accept the leap or blindly call "Sellout!" remains to be seen.Also on the bill are Leatherface and Small Brown Bike. Northern England's Leatherface play straight-ahead late-'80s-style California punk but top it with singer/guitarist Frankie N.W. Stubbs' gruff Lemmyish vocals. Although the band was formed in the late '80s, its members took a five-year hiatus in the mid-'90s before returning to rock. Michigan's Small Brown Bike recently released their second full-length for No Idea. They play a style of emo-core that recalls a time when the genre was more 'core and less songs about girls, similar to early Samiam or Alton's late Back of Dave.
All told, it's a fine triple bill and a positively punkin' way to spend a Tuesday night.