It's a testament to their integrity that after frontman Chuck Ragan left their ranks this year, Hot Water Music core members Chris Wollard (vocals/guitar), Jason Black (bass) and George Rebelo (drums) didn't just continue under the HWM moniker. (Explains Black: "We always said that the minute one of us walked away from Hot Water, that was it.") And so the trio brought in new guitarist Todd Rockhill (ex-Discount), christened themselves the Draft
and started over. The result of their efforts, as heard on the recent In a Million Pieces
, uses HWM's propulsive, melodic sound as a launching pad for previously unexplored ideas, from the Soul Asylum-on-steroids vibe of "New Eyes Open" and the ska inflections of "Let It Go" to the xylophone-accented rock & roll swagger of "All We Can Count On."