Thursday, Feb. 19; Sunshine Theater (all ages, 7 p.m.): Somewhere between Quicksand's post-hardcore fury, Social Distortion's three-chord Californicated version of the Ramones' classic sound and At the Drive In's clear-cut emo, you'll find the Hot Water Music sound. Sure, tons of other comparisons can be drawn (Burning Airlines, late-era Helmet, the entire stable of Dischord bands circa 1989, and so on), but the only thing you really need to know is that of all the bands currently treading emo's ever quaking, never-quite-solid ground, Hot Water Music tread the lightest and with the biggest stick. Their various and wide range of influences are pressure cooked within the confines of Chuck Ragan and Chris Wollard's twin guitar/lead vocal blast furnace, then simmered into thick post-punk riffs and near-anthemic choruses.
HWM's latest album, Caution (Epitaph) represents a modest evolutionary leap forward for the band; where the songs seem to have been allowed to marinate in their own juices before being cooked to prefection. Rowdy, melodic energizing and fearsome all at once, HWM are a band you don't want to miss.