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Dour Festival 2016

Dour

Festival (07/16/16)

Dour, Belgium
By

 
 

 

 

Dour festival in is a yearly alternative music festival in a Belgian village of the same name. It’s sometimes nicknamed the Woodstock of Wallonia, which gives you a rough idea of the vibe and love for certain substances at the festival. Since it’s conception in 1989 it is now mainly electronic music that has taken over. There’s still a stage left for punk rock and related genres, that’s where I decided to spend my Saturday. Read More…

Lagwagon Tour

Lagwagon / Useless ID / Versus The World

Club Academy, Manchester, UK

19th July 2016
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Lagwagon 2016Summer has made it’s belated arrival in Manchester as Lagwagon, Useless ID and Versus The World roll into town, it’s hitting boiling point in the city and everyone has spilled outside the pubs and bars that populate the area, regardless of this temptation we are headed into Club Academy. Thankfully the venue lies in the basement of the University, which at least offers some respite from the heat. The music being played prior to the first band seems to be an odd choice, we get a selection of 70s and 80s disco, but to hear a, slightly drunk, member of the early evening crowd hollering It’s Raining Men almost makes it tolerable… almost. 

Versus The World 2016Versus The World, the only band on tonight’s bill who aren’t signed to Fat Wreck Chords, open tonight’s proceedings, sadly they open to a sparse crowd. Versus The World, whose line up includes members of Lagwagon, The Ataris and Antifreeze, play their set regardless and they start to bring in a few stragglers. The Californian five piece play their hard edged variety of pop punk to those who have forsaken the early evening sunshine. Versus The World play an energetic set that is a fine opening to tonight’s show, whilst their sound may not be original concept it is delivered with an admirable level of commitment and enthusiasm.

Useless ID July 2016Prior to Useless ID taking the stage the random selection of music continues, for some reason we get treated to Lynard Skynard‘s Freebird before Useless ID take the stage. Useless ID are touring in support of their impressive, and in my opinion their best album to date, State Is Burning. The Israeli quartet wake up the venue with their intense brand of melodic hardcore, they play a set that, whilst mainly culled from their latest release, is interspersed with a selection of songs from their past glories. Apparently Manchester is as “hot as Haifa” tonight, despite this Useless ID play a energetic set in the now oppressive heat.

The harmonies that inhabit their material areUseless ID July 2016 present live, and everything about this band just screams commitment, impressively they sound even better live, and believe me I loved State Is Burning. Useless ID leave the stage and you can see the sweat dripping from the microphone which underlines just how much they’ve put into tonight’s short set. The only issue I have with Useless ID tonight is that their set just isn’t long enough, a band of this calibre deserve more than half an hour, and their set is over in an impressive, but all too short instant. On the basis of tonight I would recommend catching Useless ID live if you get the chance.

Lagwagon 2016The crowd has swelled during Useless ID‘s set, whilst by no means sold out the Club Academy now has a healthy and enthusiastic crowd that are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Lagwagon. The Bonanza theme tune rings out from the PA and this signals that their arrival is imminent, tonight they are playing their classic Hoss album in full. A small but enthusiastic mosh pit immediately forms, and more impressively remains in place throughout the set. Even the Californian’s are struggling with tonight’s unrelenting heat, Joey Cape informs us that this is the hottest stage that Lagwagon have ever encountered in the UK.

WhilstLagwagon July 2016 the crowd tonight is smaller than Lagwagon are used to playing to, I doubt they’ll encounter a more dedicated crowd on this tour, the mosh pit expands throughout the set until it occupies most of  the floor, with sweaty die hard fans throwing themselves around with admirable abandon. Once Hoss has been played in full we get a crowd pleasing encore or two including two of my favourite Lagwagon songs, May 16, and Falling Apart. What really comes across during Lagwagon‘s set is that they clearly love what they’re doing, this is just as well as they have now been around for more than a quarter of a century.

Lagwagon 2016On the hottest day of the year in Manchester, in a venue that resembles a building site, where the main bar was shut and despite the truly awful selection of songs inbetween the bands, a respectable crowd still attended on what was a very close, sweaty and humid night. For those who opted for an evening outside the pub and a few cold beers instead of attending tonight’s show, I understand your reasoning, but you made the wrong choice. There’s nowhere I would have rather been in Manchester tonight, although I will admit that some air conditioning would have been a welcome addition.

Lagwagon 2016You can visit the Versus The World bandcamp here and their facebook page here

You can visit Useless ID‘s website here and order the State Is Burning LP here

You can visit Lagwagon‘s website here and order the Hang LP here

You can visit Fat Wreck Chords here and  Kung Fu Records here

Photography is by Dean Unsworth, he will be launching his website soon, you can visit his Instagram account here

You can read thepunksite.com‘s reviews of  Versus The World‘s Homesick/Roadsick LP here, Useless ID‘s State Is Burning LP here and Lagwagon‘s Hang LP  here

Mild In The Streets

Fat Wreck Chords

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

Who doesn’t love a Fat Wreck Chords compilation, they were a great way to hear new bands, and tracks from upcoming releases, for next to no money, as a bonus there were always a few exclusive tracks thrown into the mix. Along with Epitaph Records Punk-O-Rama series they were responsible for introducing a new generation of fans to some amazing bands. This time round things have changed as this compilation has been done with a different approach, Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is, in case you hadn’t guessed, a collection of songs from bands and singers from the Fat Wreck Chords stable who have traded in their amplifiers and distortion pedals for acoustic guitars.

This sixteen track compilation is a lengthy affair and content is so varied that you can’t summarise the album, so i’m going to a whistle stop tour of Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged. Tony Sly, of No Use For A Name, opens the album with a soulful piano led version of Under The Garden and The Swingin’ Utters deliver an excellent foottapping country version of Fruitless Fortunes featuring slap bass and violin. Stacey Dee delivers a melancholy number, Everything Is Beautiful, this is one of the songs that is exclusive to this album and to anyone familiar with Bad Cop/Bad Cop this number will come as something of a surprise, this is juxtaposed against Sam Sadowski, of Closet Friends, who delivers some sore throated acoustic blues.

Going acoustic won’t come as a surprise from everyone on this compilation, for Old Man Markley it’s practically second nature, they deliver a mellower version of Guts ‘N Teeth. For others the acoustic approach doesn’t change anything apart from the volume, it clearly doesn’t matter if you take Anti-Flag’s electric guitars away as they remain as angry and political as ever, Israeli punks Useless ID retain their own sound, they keep the character of their hard edged pop punk intact and Matt Skiba delivers a sinister version of Alkaline Trio‘s Continental. Karine Denike bring a touch of fifties glamour to proceedings, this couldn’t be further away from the Dance Hall Crashers upbeat ska if it tried and Get Dead deliver some stripped down punk rock

We’re on the final leg of the tour now, Lagwagon‘s Joey Cape delivers a mellow acoustic number, American Steel bring some upbeat acoustica that features a mournful accordion break and Laura Jane Grace brings a great number that carries a restrained version of the fury that inhabits Against Me‘s output. The closing trilogy of songs continue to deliver, Russ Rankin brings us a heartrending tale of the loneliness of the road and the toll it takes on relationships, Uke-Hunt do a cover of Olivia Newton John‘s Xanadu, this is rather excellent, like an unplugged Me First And the Gimme Gimmes, and for it’s grand finale the album ends with an epic symphonic version of one of my favourite NOFX tunes, The Decline, personally I wish Fat Mike had done vocals over this rather than just an instrumental but it’s a faithful and bombastic end to an excellent compilation.

Compilations are usually a mixed bag but there is little to dislike on here, the versions are all original and unique takes on songs we have come to know and love, the original tracks don’t feel like they were ideas that were rescued from the wastepaper bin. This, as with every other Fat Wreck Chords compilation, is an essential purchase, if you’re a fan of any of the bands that appear on here I doubt that you’ll be disappointed with new versions or the original material. Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged brings something new to the table on almost every track, the album spans so many genres and styles that it never gets dull, buy this and mellow out for an hour or so.

Mild In The Streets: Fat Music Unplugged is available for download and on CD, Vinyl and Coloured vinyl here

Tours: Lagwagon / Useless ID / Versus The World

lagwagonLagwagon will be touring Europe alongside Useless ID and Versus The World this July and August. Useless ID will be supporting their upcoming full-length, State is Burning, which is set to drop on July 1, 2016. 

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Joey Cape, Walt Hamburger on Punks in Vegas

Punks in VegasLagwagon frontman Joey Cape and Walt Hamburger were featured this month on a Punks in Vegas Stripped Down Session.

The duo performed Burden of Proof/Reign off Lagwagon’s 2014 full-length Hang, Moral Compass from Cape’s recent Stitch Puppy and Hamburger’s Three Tattoos.

Check out the session here or on YouTube.

 

Joey Cape versus KJ Jansen

Joey Cape versus KJ Jansen

Joey Cape (Lagwagon) and KJ Jansen (Chixdiggit)

Fat Wreck Chords
By on September 2nd, 2015 at Email

 

 

Punk rock has it’s fair share of punk rock heroes,one of the biggest of which is none other than the legendary Joey Cape of the equally legendary Lagwagon. He’s about to set off once again on a solo tour, bringing his acoustic guitar to small venues all across North America. Joining him on the tour is Walt Hamburger, Laura Mardon, and fellow Fat Wreck Chords label mate, KJ Jansen of Calgary’s Chixdiggit!.

Before the tour, Joey and KJ figured it would be a good time to get to know one another and took turns in the interviewer chair. Read More…

Tours: Lagwagon / The Flatliners (Australia)

fat_wreck_chordsLagwagon and The Flatliners has announced that they will be touring Australia together in November and December.  Lagwagon continues to support 2014’s Hang and The Flatliners continue to hype up their recent b-side and rarities compilation,Division of Spoils, both are available now on Fat Wreck Chords.

Full tour dates are below.

Read More…

Versus The World Announce New Record ‘Homesick/Roadsick’

Versus-The-World.Sanata Barbara alt-rock outfit Versus The World have announced that their new album, Homesick/Roadsick is due to drop on April 7th via Kung Fu Records. Ahead of the official release, the band, featuring members of Lagwagon and The Ataris are streaming The Santa Margarita, the lead single featuring a guest vocal from Dave Hause. 

Check out the stream of The Santa Margarita here, and the band’s upcoming tour dates and track list for Homesick/Roadsick can be found below.

Read More…

Tours: Lagwagon (UK)

lagwagonCalifornia punk rock favourites Lagwagon have announced a short UK tour in March next year. The band are out supporting their latest full length, Hang, released back in October via Fat Wreck Chords. Canadian punks (and thepunksite favourites) The Flatliners have been confirmed as support for all shows.

Check out the full list of dates below.

Read More…

Video: Lagwagon – Made Of Broken Parts

LagwagonLagwagon has released a new music video.  The video features the song “Made Of Broken Parts,” which appears on their latest album, Hang, released earlier this Fall on Fat Wreck Chords.

Watch the video below.

Read More…

Tours: Lagwagon / The Flatliners / Western Addiction

LagwagonLagwagon has announced that they will be heading on tour this Spring with The Flatliners and Western Addiction.  Lagwagon will be supporting their latest album, Hang, released earlier this Fall on Fat Wreck Chords.

Full tour dates are below.

Read More…

Lagwagon - Hang!

Lagwagon

Hang

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4.5/5

 
 

 

 

When we last saw 90’s punk staples Lagwagon they had released the jokingly titled, I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon – the EP’s title poking fun at the band’s lengthy career and aging nature of their fanbase.  Considering that the release of the EP left fans “hanging” for a nearly seven year break – enough time for listeners to develop careers and start a family – it wouldn’t be a stretch to extend the joke to “I Think My Dad Used To Listen To Lagwagon.”  To say it’s been a while is an understatement.

Lagwagon is a serious legacy act harkening from the “golden age” of Fat Wreck Chords defined by No Use For A Name, NOFX, and Strung Out.  As with all legacy acts, the thought of returning to activity for a new record is both exciting and terrifying.  A band must compete in a vastly altered landscape, and then live up to the unrealistic expectations created from years of absence heightened by the lure of nostalgia.  Thankfully, front man Joey Cape has been anything but inactive in his solo career, and his musicianship remains sharp as a tack.  The resulting twelve song album, Hang, should quell any fears that Lagwagon is not up to the task.

Fans rejoice; Hang is Lagwagon in its purest form.  

Lagwagon stuffs Hang chalk full of their trademark vocal and guitar intensity, revisiting familiar ground as well as branching out to neighbouring territories. Cape has always represented the darker side of pop-punk, and his weighty lyrics unload well against a an angsty backdrop.  The sub minute-long acoustic opener “Burden of Proof” has become somewhat of a Lagwagon tradition, channelling the fragile unease first explored via Cape’s short lived spin off Bad Astronaut.  From here Lagwagon jettisons headlong into their stormy combination of speedy vocals and snapping, hurried drumbeats.  “Reign” has all the marks of a classic track, easing listeners comfortably into the much heavier, “hint-of-metal” underlying each of Chris Flippin and Chris Rest’s dense riffs.  “I was made of broken parts, sewed together with a broken heart,” belts Cape forcefully, setting the tone for the bleak images of a fractured humanity forcefully articulated a song later in “Cog In The Machine.”  

Of course the shifts in tempo that Lagwagon has become known for are back in full force.  “Poison The Well” moves gears between speedy verses, indulgent guitar solos, and a mid-tempo chorus as only Lagwagon can.  As always, the swaps are abrupt and loosely uncomfortable, but absolutely integral for Cape and his crew achieving each track’s sense of direction.  The album’s flagship track, “Obsolete Absolute,” takes pretty near two minutes of steady instrumental escalation and sound clips before culminating in a swirling sonic storm of borderline melodic ferocity.  

Once this undeniable high point runs its course, Hang shifts away from aggression and towards that of reflection and acceptance.  Without scaling back too far, the songs become slightly more springtly.  Those like “Burning Out In Style” and “You Know Me” seem less bent on provoking audiences to anger, and more about reaching out in camaraderie.  Even the gently inviting piano segments of “One More Song” fit in perfectly amidst Hang’s overarching harshness.

But on a more personal level, Hang’s existence comes as a relief.  With labelmate Tony Sly’s recent tragic and untimely passing thrusting us into a world without No Use For A Name, the fleeting mortality of those artists that we all grew up becomes clear.  Such an unexpected fate could befall any beloved legacy act and close the shutters on their story in the blink of an eye. That Lagwagon chose to pick up after a lengthy absence and boldly challenge themselves with such success and passion speaks to their generosity and drive.  We can all be thankful that Lagwagon has left yet one more meaningful and memorable footprint in their story.  Hang respects Lagwagon’s aging legacy by embodying a work that could just as well serve as a final destination as the next fork in the road.

 

Lagwagon – Exit (No Use For A Name Cover)

LagwagonLagwagon is streaming a bonus track from their highly anticipated new album.  The track is a cover of the No Use For A Name classic, “Exit,” taken from the 1995 album Leche Con Carne, and was recorded during Lagwagon‘s latest recording sessions.  The band will release Hang on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Listen to both songs below.

Read More…

Tour: Lagwagon/ Swingin’ Utters

Lagwagon - Fat Wreck ChordsLong running punk group Lagwagon is celebrating the release of their new record Hang (which comes out on October 28th) by extending their tour with Swingin’ Utters north across the border into Canada. The Lagwagon Hang Canadian Tour starts on November 13th in Vancouver.

Swingin’ Utters are also supporting a new record. Fistful of Hollow is out through Fat Wreck Chords on November 11th.

Full tour dates can be seen below.

Read More…

Lagwagon Streams Two New Tracks

LagwagonAfter months of teasers, Lagwagon is streaming two new songs from their highly anticipated new album.  The tracks are titled “Burden of Proof” and “Reign” and will appear on Hang and will be released on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Listen to both songs below.

Read More…

Lagwagon – The Cog In The Machine

LagwagonAfter months of teasers, Lagwagon is finally streaming the first song from their highly anticipated new album.  The track is titled “The Cog In The Machine” which will appear on Hang and will be released on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.

Listen to the full track here courtesy Noisey/Vice.

 

Tours: Lagwagon / Swingin’ Utters (US)

LagwagonLong running California punk act Lagwagon has announced pans for a late Fall US tour with Swingin’ Utters.  The band continues to gear up for the support of their first new full length in almost a decade, Hang!, due out October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.  Swingin’ Utters are currently planning new material for 2015.

Tour dates are below.

Read More…

Lagwagon Date And Detail New Album

HagwagonAfter months of teasers, Lagwagon has finally revealed details for their highly anticipated new album.  Hang will be released on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords and feature twelve brand new songs.

Full track listing is below along with the third preview.

Read More…

Lagwagon Post Teaser Clip

LagwagonLagwagon has released a teaser for their new material.  The sample comes from their upcoming new album, Hang, due out on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.  

Listen to the teaser below.

The LP will serve as the long anticipated followup to Lagwagon‘s 2008 EP, I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon.

Read More…

Lagwagon Date Next Album

LagwagonLagwagon has officially announced that they will be releasing their next album, Hang, on October 28, 2014 via Fat Wreck Chords.  A video announcement and upcoming European tour dates can be found below. 

The LP will serve as the long anticipated followup to Lagwagon‘s 2008 EP, I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon.

Read More…

Lagwagon Announce New Studio Album

LagwagonBig news for Lagwagon fans!  The long running pop-punk act has announced plans to release a brand new record this Fall.  The disc will be titled Hang! and is due out on longtime label Fat Wreck Chords.  The band is currently working in the studio and have produced a teaser video which can be viewed below.

The LP will serve as the long anticipated followup to Lagwagon‘s 2008 EP, I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To Lagwagon.

Read More…

Joey Cape Announces One Week Records

Joey CapeLagwagon front man Joey Cape has announced the creation of his brand new label One Week Records.  In an interview with New Noise Magazine, Cape explains the premise behind the digital-only label:

“…I’m doing an event-type label. I’m doing a label that’s going to be something like a BBC session. It’s more of an event. I have people come to my house and if they come for one weekend, we do three songs and we call it a ‘one weekend record.’ If they come for a week, we call it a ‘one week record’ and we record ten songs. We sell the record in digital format for half of the amount of songs on there, so a ten-song record’s $5.”

Cape details what fans can expect from the label’s first release:

“The first release is my friend Brian Wahlstrom, who is a piano player and an opera singer, which is hilarious considering my background. He’s a guy that I’ve known for a long time. He’s from San Diego. He played in a band called Hornswaggled and they were a punk band, kind of an early 90s punk band.”

Read the full interview here.

Lagwagon -Resolve

Lagwagon

Resolve

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

In some ways, you could split the music community down the middle into two main categories. The first one comes in the form of the “one album wonder”. The band that has this one album, with that certain sound, that certain gimmick and that certain song which propels them to new heights. The band has that instant charm which makes everyone swoon for them. The run out and buy the album immediately. They then go and see them in the arena tour and a by the time the band releases their next album, you’ve forgotten all about them and don’t care any more.

Then there’s the second category. In this one, the band may not have that certain gimmick or that certain hook to propel them into the mainstream and help them sell out arenas, instead they are able to write continually strong songs and albums. Albums that take a few listens to before really understanding it and absorbing it all. And while these bands may not be able to sell millions of records, they are able to keep their fans happy for a long and lengthy career. And with each album they release, their fan base grows a little bigger without alienating their old fans. Lagwagon falls into this category.

The southern-californian band is back with their newest album, Resolve – where you get what you would expect to get from the pop-punkers. You can tell they’ve been in it for a while as you listen to the album. There isn’t one spot that makes the listener stop and go “what is this?” Instead, you get a fluent, steady album, full of very intelligent songs (particularly songs like Automatic, Runs In The Family and Sad Astronaut). You get Joey Cape’s signature boyish vocals throughout the entire album, which can be annoying at times, but the more you listen to it, you can appreciate the subtleties that only he can bring to the table.

There’s not much you can say about this album other than it’s Lagwagon through and through. Its a solid, catchy, fun, pop-punk album that all their fans will be able to enjoy – and many new ones too. They’re still having fun, and you know they’re no where near done yet.

 

Lagwagon

Live In A Dive

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

Fat Wreck Chords are back with their seventh installment in their famed Live In A Dive series. In regular fashion they have capture one of their bands in a live setting (this time in Hollywood) and recorded it and produced it perfectly and topped it all off with an original comic strip as the booklet. This time Fat Wreck took one of their roster’s most popular bands: Lagwagon. And if these twenty-two tracks show anything, it is that even after well over a decade of doing shows, they still know how to put on a good show.

Throughout the album Lagwagon plays select songs from most of their catalog all the way from their 1992 release Duh (Beer Goggles) up to their latest 2003 release Blaze (Falling Apart and Never Stops) – giving you a feel for their entire career. It even features two new songs, one 40 second shouter called Mister Bap and The Chemist (which is much more like the classic Lagwagon that we know). Joey Cape’s vocals are strong and melodic, sounding exactly like their do on the recordings and you can easily hear the excitement of the crowd. They talk enough in between the songs to remind you that its a live album, but not so much so that it slows down the listen in any way.

The crowd really gets into certain songs, especially ones like Alien 8Violins, Beer Goggles, and Razor Burn; especially when Joey Cape asks the crowd to sing along for the final section of Razor Burn. The sound quality is good, its polished enough to be loud and clear but raw enough to know that its not all computerized.

Lagwagon‘s Live In A Dive album is good live album, no more, no less. It gives a nice run down of the career of one of Fat Wreck Chords‘s most famed bands and makes you want to listen to their old albums again. And that is what a live album should do – it should incite the need to listen to the band some more, and Lagwagon are able to do that here. If you are a hardcore Lagwagon fan then this is for you. If you like live albums, then this won’t disappoint either; but if you’re only a casual fan, then this won’t open many new doors concerning the band and you might as well skip it.

 

Lagwagon -I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To

Lagwagon

I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To..

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

My mind often wanders off on its own. I could be sitting somewhere and I’m sure to any passerby that I would look quite daft as I stare blankly off into the distance; but that’s what I do. I’ll be sitting there and suddenly my mind thinks of something and goes off on its own accord. This happened today as I pondered over my recent purchase of some old Clash and Bikini Kill records (I had wanted to buy Crass andBlondie too but didn’t have enough cash on me). I thought it was kind of cool how these CDs came out so long ago and I can still easily walk down to a store and pick up the CD, the only logical question to ask next was which bands of today will leave such a legacy behind them that you can still walk up to a CD store (if they’re still around) and buy the CD thirty years down the road? More importantly, who will leave such a legacy and who has had such an impact that on the music scene that people will still want to go out and buy the CDs from these bands? One band that immediately came to mind was none other thanLagwagon.

With already close to a dozen releases under their belts, the California punk band has been going strong for nearly two decades and have already crafted themselves a mighty fine legacy with releases like Duhand Hoss – not to mention the band’s triumphant homage to former drummer Derrick Plourde, Resolve. All of those are records that people will still want to hear twenty years from now and while their twelfth release (and third overall EP) may not be the first record to come to mind when you think LagwagonI Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To… is still worthy of multiple listens.

With six new songs and the previously released Resolve b-side, FallenI Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To… remains true to Lagwagon form with fast, technical skate-punk tracks that are all carried by driving guitar hooks and Joey Cape’s signature vocals. That said, its still not the same record rehashed over and over again (here’s looking at you Pennywise) as there are distinct differences with the band’s sound and they have evolved quite a bit since Duh. The tempo changes are there in full force, from the quick speed of b side to the more mellow Live It Down or the middle of the road merger of the two speeds, Memoirs and Landmines which features the best hook and melody on the EP; but each song is still able to drive home a sense of excitement and energy.

Joey Cape’s vocals bounce over each song, telling stories of the everyday man instead of standing from a soapbox. They aren’t as comical as they used to be, despite what the album title may suggest, but instead have a more serious, somber tone. Some songs have a slightly political overtone (Hail to the chief, abusing his control. He could never weep, he lose his soul to his ego) but never overtly push an agenda but instead sees a man questioning the current standards. Others are more biographical, such as on Errands where Cape starts off with “That’s it. Let’s move to New York City. And we won’t even say goodbye. We’ll find a place where we can start a fight and feel good to be alive.” There he touches on is another theme of the album: feeling good to be alive and you can’t help but agree with him as you listen to punk rock melodies in the background.

I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen To… is not the highlight of Lagwagon‘s career but does remind us why we like the band so much. They’ve earned their dues and with each CD that comes out you are thankful they’re still around and twenty years down the road I hope I’ll head my son comment to his friends: I think my dad used to listen to Lagwagon.

Lagwagon - Blaze

Lagwagon

Blaze

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

The Wagon is back on track! After 5 years since a record (excluding the 2002 – Let’s Talk About Leftovers), Lagwagon have recorded a collection of 14 songs which they are finally content with, and have given all their loyal fans a new CD, Blaze!!

Lagwagon has a unique old fashion punk rock sound, one that fits perfectly amongst the bands on Fat Wreck Chords. The guitars are played fast, drums are played loud, bass beats are complex and the vocals are one of a kind.

The first song on the CD is Blaze, the beginning of the song sounds a lot like Joey Cape’s side project, Bad Astronaut (a long with a couple other portions  of the album). It gets you wondering if Lagwagonhas changed their sound to a much much more mellow sound. That only last 40 seconds then the ‘Wagons fire up the pace into their regular old style of classic punk rock goodness! The second song is E Dagger(which was originally released on the Atticus 2 compilation a month or so before the release of Blaze). It starts off with a nice little vocal set over the constant guitar riff, after a bit it brings up the other guitars, bass and drums. The song is one of my favorites on the album with a fast paced sound and perfect vocals along with it, adding an extra special touch of magic is the additional vocals by E Dagger.

The middle tracks (5,6,7) are another set of songs which come with at you with a mighty ferocity. Falling Apart (which is the first single. You can see the video with the enhanced portion of the album), opens with a heavy bass beat. The vocals are all about the band “falling apart”, it is quite funny. Just moaning about them getting old, they even make a reference to them being away for so long “Hello, Welcome to the show. Thought we broke up years ago“. This is another one of my favorites. Max Says and Billy Club are tracks 6 and 7, both fast paced punk rock songs, good old fashion Lagwagon songs!

Another track which really stands out in my mind is Billionaire, it starts off with a beat that sounds like Bad Astronaut but then soon kicks it into high gear. This song has probably the catchiest vocals form any other track on the album. The song is just really good.

Also, you obviously have a computer if you are reading this, so grab your CD and place it into your hardrive. You can watch THREE videos (one for Falling Apart and 2 live ones). There is also some pictures and supposedly you can get into some secret site (I have yet to find it).

In summary, Blaze is a very good CD. There is not one disappointing track on the album. It has a couple slow parts which are similar to Bad Astronaut, which slows down the pace, and is slightly annoying at times, but it soon bursts out of that. The worst part is the ending of the final track, Baggage, where they close the album on a very long downfall. Other then that this quintet out of Santa Barbara have made a spectacular CD that needs to be in every punk fan’s collection. It is very different from the typical type of pop-punk you hear on the radio now a days.

Joey Cape / Tony Sly - Acoustic

Joey Cape / Tony Sly

Acoustic

Fat Wreck Chords
By

Rating: 3.5/5

 
 

 

 

This split CD, appropriately named Acoustic, features two of Fat Wreck Chords‘ top frontmen. Joey Cape of Lagwagon, Me First And The Gimme Gimmes, and Bad Astronaut along with No Use For A Name‘s Tony Sly. If you don’t know these names already, then you are missing some of the best punk rock music around. Both men took 5 of their band’s top songs and striped them down to the basics: acoustic. Then they each wrote one brand new song specifically for the split making the album of the best acoustic albums around.

Each song on the split is great. There really isn’t one song that pulls it down in anyway. Tony Sly‘s Stunt Double (the new track) and Justified Black Eye (from the 1994 release, Leche Con Carne!)are majestic, they are perfect acoustic songs. The melodies are slow and moving while the vocals are soothing and captivating, making for one hell of a song. Joey Cape‘s rendition of Wind In Your Sail (from the 2002 release, Let’s Talk About Leftovers) takes the title of top song mainly because of the lyrics. The guitar riffs are some of the best on the album and work great with the vocals and backup vocals too. Lyrics like “Cause I’m right here / to witness every step / and when you trip / I will cherish it/ … I live to watch you fail” just do something for me when they are sung so softly and melodically.

With the surge of screamo and hard-core bands lately, its great to finally be able to sit down and listen to a slow, melodic, album. And when its with two of punk’s top musicians, its even better.

Joey Cape - Bridge

Joey Cape

Bridge

Suburban Home Records
By

Rating: 4/5

 
 

 

 

Joey Cape is one of today’s most underrated musicians. Over the past two decades, Cape has constantly kept himself busy. Whether it was defining a sound, style and attitude of early nineties skate punk inLagwagon (really, would Fat Wreck be the same without them?), slowing it down with Bad Astronaut, or covering radio hits with the punk rock super group cover band, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, Cape was always doing something. Plus, in between that he moonlighted in a few other short lived outfits and even started a record label for a few years. Now he’s graced us with his first official solo release (not counting the split with No Use For A Name‘s Tony Sly from a few years ago) and he once again shows why he’s had such an important role in the punk rock community for the past two decades.

Now, this is far from being a Lagwagon record as it is much slower and is just Cape and his guitar. At the same time though, this is not Bad Astronaut either as it is much more energetic than that project. Instead, Bridge is a nice middle grown. An acoustic record with a slight pop sensibility held together by Cape‘s signature vocal style.

Looking at the record, five songs immediately stand out at you. They are: B side, Errands, Mission Unaccomplished, Memories and Landmines and No Little Pill. Sound familiar? Well, they should since they all appeared on Lagwagon‘s new EP, I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen To…. The realization that you’ve already heard almost half the record can be somewhat disappointing but in reality, it adds a little bit more to the record as opposed to taking away something.

All of Lagwagon‘s stuff are originally written on acoustic guitars and then transformed into the full fledge songs that we hear. On BridgeCape gives us a glimpse into the formation of the Lagwagon songs that we all love. Of course, they’re slower than the final versions but they also offer a different look at the songs. They sound drastically different, almost like a different song. If it wasn’t for the vocal harmony and lyrics, you’d be hard pressed to say it was the same song which makes all the songs on Bridge new in their own way.

Still, the best songs on the record do seem to be the half that didn’t appear on the Lagwagon EP. You get We’re Not In Love Anymore, a broken hearted love song where Cape offers one of the strongest vocal performances on the record. Canoe is a more depressing song with Cape singing at a lower registry and Who We’ve Become is one of the most endearing songs I’ve heard all year. Lyrics like I guess I rarely sleep enough or exercise to stay fit /and I don’t know how long I’ll live / but I enjoy every minute with you / cause I just like who you’ve become remind us of how good Cape can write. It’s even more evident on the fastest track, The Ramones Are Dead which is an ode to vinyl and mom and pop stores.

Bridge is another in a long line of solo records from prolific front men that came out this year; and it is once again another good one. A nice, soothing, and peaceful acoustic record from a musical icon.

Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival Announce Lineup

Punk Rock BowlingThe 15th annual Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival released this year’s lineup featuring bands like DEVO, The Weirdos, TurbonegroU.S. Bombs, The Casualties, FLAG, Bad Religion, The Damned, D.R.I., Lagwagon, Bouncing Souls, and many more.

Punk Rock Bowling will take place May 24-27 in downtown Las Vegas, Nev., and weekend passes are currently on sale. Get them here!

Punk Rock Bowling began in 1999 as a way to bring together the independent music scene into one big annual party. Festival organizer, and BYO Records founder and member of YOuth Brigade Shawn Stern commentedo

Being fans of music ourselves, we like to take all the things we dislike about festivals and eliminate them from our event. We want this to be a big party and we want everyone to have a great time. We offer good food with vegan and vegetarian options, and our drinks are probably half the price of most festivals. We also limit the capacity so it still sounds great and because our audience are such die hard fans of punk rock, we have little to no problems in the crowd. It’s like one big family enjoying a debauchery filled weekend in Las Vegas like any normal family! Ha!”

Verses The World Unveils New Song/Tour (U.S.)

In anticipation for their forthcoming album release Drink. Sing. Live. Love. on July 31, 2012 Santa Barbara, CA based rock band Versus The World has premiered a new song, Mason Grace,” today on GuitarWorld.com.  The band has launched a pre-order for Drink. Sing. Live. Love. on Interpunk.com and has an upcoming tour with Unwritten Law and Authority Zero. Stream “Mason Grace” here.

Versus The World is made up of Mike Davenport (The Ataris), Chris Flippin (Lagwagon), Donald Spence and Bryan Charleson (Crooks and Liars). Versus The World’s new album, Drink. Sing. Live. Love., finds the band at their best, combining years of experience and honed ability to craft incredible songs.  Produced by Thom Flowers (The Ataris) at Playback Recording and Orange Whip studios in Santa Barbara, mixed by Ian MacGregor (All American Rejects, Katy Perry) and mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room in Fort Collins. Drink. Sing. Live. Love. features thirteen fist pumping  tracks that fuse elements of post-hardcore, pop-punk and rock on tracks like “She Sang The Blues”,  “Mason Grace” and the upcoming single “A Fond Farewell.” Versus The World will hit the road this summer, playing dates with Unwritten Law and Authority Zero in support of Drink. Sing. Live. Love.  Stay tuned to http://versustheworld.com/ for more information.

Versus The World 2012 Tour dates with Authority Zero* and Unwritten Law**.

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Fat Wreck Chords Label Tour 2012

Fat Wreck Chords has announced details for the Fat 2012 tour featuring Lagwagon, Dead To Me, The Flatliners and Useless ID. The dates will hit the Midwest and East Coast of the U.S. as well as Eastern Canada.

Tour dates can be found below.

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