New York City hardcore band H2O began as a group of friends headed by Sick of It All roadie Toby Morse, who would perform a song called "My Love Is Real" at shows where there was no opening act. Crowd response encouraged the band to give music a serious try, and their initial membership featured Morse (vocals), Rusty Pistachio (guitar), Eric Rice (bass), and Max Capshaw (drums). H2O's ability to write catchy, melodic riffs while retaining hardcore's full-throttle rush, as well as their straight-edge sensibility and obvious love of hardcore originators like Minor Threat, got them a following along the East Coast. After a European tour in 1995, Capshaw left the band, and ex-Outcrowd members Todd Morse (guitar; Toby's brother) and Todd Friend (drums) joined.
H2O opened for such bands as the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid, and No Doubt, and their self-titled debut was released in 1996. Their second album, Thicker Than Water, was issued by Epitaph in 1997; it featured new bassist Adam Blake (ex-Shelter). F.T.T.W., the band's third album, was released in 1999. Two years later, the band signed to MCA and issued Go!, followed closely by the All We Want EP, which appeared in fall 2002. The band toured heavily for the next few years, eventually getting back into the studio to knock out 2008's Nothing to Prove. Released in 2011, the aptly named Don't Forget Your Roots saw H2O covering some of the bands that influenced them over the years, while 2015's Use Your Voice found them celebrating their 20th anniversary with an all new set of originals.
By Steve Huey