Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Album review - Lagwagon

Note: This album review post is written by my friend, the lovely Erin Euphegenia Feely:
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Originally based in Southern California, Lagwagon was an early favorite on the '90s punk scene. They've held strong through the years with ten full-length albums to their credit. Their last album, Resolve (2005), dealt entirely with singer/songwriter Joey Cape's loss of his life-long friend and band-mate, Derrick Plourde. The two formed one of my favorite bands, the now-defunct Bad Astronaut, in 2000 just so they could create music together.

Cape has also been promoting this album with his side-project - The Playing Favorites, working on his acoustic album - Bridge (due out in October), as well as playing guitar in the cover-band, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Somehow, amidst Cape's busy schedule, Lagwagon - the band his fans know best - managed to pump out 7 new tracks.

Their latest effort, the EP
I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To (Lagwagon), does not disappoint. As always, the band manages to delicately balance politics and private lives. Tracks like "No Little Pill" and "Live It Down" deal with current affairs like abuse of power and environmental uncertainty. To issues we describe in general with words like "depression," "addiction" and "corruption," Cape melodically lends names and faces, while "Errands" and "Fallen" return to the loss of Plourde and bring the album down to a very personal level. Plourde's death is still too fresh and bleeds through every song. There is a desperate vibe of "getting on with life" while still questioning past decisions. Although the lyrical content is profound, rhythmic guitar and relentless percussion make every song super-charged with energy.

My only complaint about the album is that there aren't more songs! The beats are so catchy that no sooner do you find yourself rocking out and singing along than you realize it's over!

Overall the EP is a great effort, mission accomplished.

Favorite song:
B-Side

2 comments:

Jenny from the block said...

That's the best review I've ever read! Lagwagon is my new favorite band.

Katie said...

SB band...I spent an entire day in the hot sun helping them rebox all their delivered CD's. Good group o' peeps.