Lagwagon Tour

Lagwagon / Useless ID / Versus The World

Club Academy, Manchester, UK

19th July 2016

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‘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

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.

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Video: Versus The World – Homesick/Roadsick

Versus The WorldSanta Barbara punks Versus the World have dropped a new music video.  The video features the song “Homesick/Rocdsick” from their latest full length of the same name, released back in June via Kung Fu Records.

Watch the video here courtesy AltPress.

Versus The World

Versus The World


Kung Fu Records

Rating: 3.5/5




Now on their third full length, Homesick/Roadsick, pop-punk supergroup Versus The World has demonstrated possessing legs beyond that of a one time collaboration.  Composed of members of Lagwagon, The Ataris and lesser known acts like 40 Cents Short and Antifreeze, the Californian four-piece has made a name for themselves by combining these familiar brands of melodic pop-punk.  The result is a predictable combination of well-executed and clean pop-punk that satisfies the soul like a warm dish of your favourite comfort food.

Opener “The Santa Margarita” sets Versus The World up in confidence.  Vocalist Donald Spence belts his heart out with a high flying, rough-but-polished altrock sensibility that while very clean never lacks expression.  Landing somewhere between Anberlin and Authority Zero, Spence has a knack for spouting out at least a few attention-grabbing lines per track.  Take the leading invitation on “Sight For Sore Eyes.”  Setting the scene for an underdog, runner-up uprising, the band dedicates the song “to all the would be stars, who are stuck in karaoke bars… to all the second guessers, and assistant managers.”  Enhanced by a rich onslaught of forceful riffs and a well balanced, drum thumping bridge, they land their hopeful message well.  While lyrics aren’t necessarily Versus The World’s strongest suit, when they hit the mark their imagery leaves a lasting impression.

Instrumentally, Homesick/Roadsick isn’t afraid to reach for grand heights.  Take the ambitious, Strung Out meets No Use For A Name back and forth of “Seven. Thirty One” and “Bullet Train.”  With a rambunctious, skate-punk tempoed intro and furious finger flying guitar solo, Versus The World prove that their talents extend well beyond just a solid mid-tempo harmony (not that stand-outs like “Retox/Detox” don’t also pull their weight).  Homesick/Roadsick isn’t mind boggling by any means, but Versus The World‘s technical proficiency definitely gives them a leg up.

Homesick/Roadsick demarks a very confident and capable continuation of Versus The World in their return to Kung Fu Records.  And while the band hasn’t changed all that much since their debut, Homesick/Roadsick continues to frame Versus The World as capable and confident songsmiths of the pop-punk trade with a penchant for approachably substantive tunes.

Tours: Versus the World (UK/Europe)

Versus The WorldSanta Barbara punks Versus the World are hitting the road with punk legends Strung Out later this month. The quintet are out in support of their latest full length, Homesick/Roadsick, due for release on June 23rd via Kung Fu Records.

Check out the full list of dates below.

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Versus The World – A Brooklyn Rooftop

Versus-The-World.Sanata Barbara alt-rock outfit Versus The World is streaming a new song from their new album, Homesick/Roadsick which due to drop June 23, 2015 via Kung Fu Records. 

Listen to the song below.

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Tours: Versus The World / Strung Out

Versus-The-World.Sanata Barbara alt-rock outfit Versus The World have announced that they will be touring in the UK and Europe with Strung Out.  The band will be supporting their new album, Homesick/Roadsick is due to drop on April 7, 2015 via Kung Fu Records. 

Tour listings can be found below.

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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.

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Versus The World - Self titled

Versus The World

Self Titled

Kung Fu Records

Rating: 3/5




Reading this band’s biography, you get the feeling as if you’re reading the “who’s who” of the punk community, or more accurately, the “who’s who” of the Kung Fu Records former roster. With Mike Davenport of The Ataris on bass, Trevor Lewis of Antifreeze on drums, Donald Spence of 40 Cents Short on guitar and vocals along with Nic Matsuda on guitar, you know the members of Versus The World are far from being juniors; and immediately, depending on your view of their other bands, their self-titled CD seems to be looking upwards in most people’s mind. And in all honesty, it never seems to dip downwards.

With a set of bands including The Ataris and Antifreeze, you are sure to immediately start picturing a easily accessible pop-punk band; and while that description is a fairly accurate and straight forward description, as you listen to it more, it’s obvious that Versus The World has something different. In every song, you feel something familiar, that certain attraction which makes any good pop-punk band so memorable and catchy, but they are still creating a certain sound of their own. The vocals aren’t your classic whiny, poppy, boyish vocals, but rather more harmonious and enjoyable.

Versus The World‘s Self-titled effort features all the must haves to make a memorable pop-punk album like the catchy Ghost In The Bottle, the acoustic song full of intelligent and moving lyrics with Love Every Scar and then, as a bonus song, the Tenacious D wannabe No Where Fast. They even do the Fall Out Boy thing and throw in a scream every once in a while to add to the backbone of the song structure. Lyrically, they aren’t anything ground breaking, but they don’t come off as trite or obnoxious either. Instead of being over loaded with amazing lyrics, they keep it fairly steady with enough to keep you entertained and then throw in one or two amazing verses or choruses to really make the song stick out.

Versus The World have constructed a solid debut album. It;s not ground breaking, but it has set up a sturdy platform for the band to grow on top of. It’s something familiar, with a little tinge of individuality thrown in there to make it more memorable; but the fact remains that most pop-punk fans will enjoy it.


Tours: Authority Zero

Authority ZeroAuthority Zero have announced a new set of US tour dates in support of their latest release, The Tipping Point, released earlier this week on Hardline Entertainment. Dubbed the ‘2013 Summer Sickness Tour’, the band will be joined by Ballyhoo and Versus The World.

Dates are below.

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MxPx Alphabetical Sale

MxPx In order to celebrate their 20th anniversary together, MxPx are doing an “Alphabetical Sale” where each week they will be offering each of their album releases, in alphabetical order, for an inexpensive $5.

The first release in the sale is At The Show and can be purchased here.

As previously reported, the band, in their new incarnation as MxPx All-Stars, will be touring with Unwritten Law and Pennywise  starting in October.

Tours: Versus The World / Unwritten Law

versus The WorldSanta Barbara’s Versus The World (Ex – Ataris) has announced additional fall tour dates with fellow SoCal rock band Unwritten Law, that extends their run through November.  The tour picks up in Bloomington, IL on November 10 after the pair wrap up their tour with MxPx All Stars.  

Versus The World is currently touring in support of their recent release Drink. Sing. Live. Love..

Tours: Versus The World / MXPX All Star / Unwritten Law

versus The WorldSouthern California’s Versus The World announced that they will soon begin a fall U.S. tour with MXPX All Stars and Unwritten Law. This tour is in celebration of their latest album titled Drink. Sing. Live. Love., which was released by Viking Funeral Records this past summer on July 31. Check out the tour dates below.

Also, watch Versus The World’s new video for their single A Fond Farewell here.


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Tours: Versus The World / Unwritten Law / MXPX

versus The WorldSouthern California rock band Versus The World has announced that they will be touring alongside MXPX and Unwritten Law for their fall tour of the US.  The band continues to support their brand new full length, Drink. Sing. Live. Love., which was released on July 31, 2012, via Viking Funeral Records.

Tour dates can be found below.

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Video: Versus The World – A Fond Farewell

versus The WorldVersus The World has debuted a brand new music videoThe video features the song “A Fond Farewell” from their recent album Drink. Sing. Live. Love. (Viking Funeral Records).  The album was 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. 

Watch the video here.

Versus The World Stream New Full Length

versus The WorldVersus The World is streaming their brand new 13-track album Drink. Sing. Live. Love. (Viking Funeral Records) over on Revolver Magazine.  The album was 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. The first song, She Sang The Blues, can be heard below.

Give the album a listen here.

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  The band has launched a pre-order for Drink. Sing. Live. Love. on 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 for more information.

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

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Versus The World Signs to Viking Funeral, Releases First Song, Goes On Tour

versus The WorldSanta Barbara’s Versus The World  have signed to Viking Funeral Records, a label imprint started by Ken Seaton of Hardline Entertainment and Pennywise guitarist Fletcher Dragge along with Kevin Zinger of Suburban Noize Records,  to release their second full-length album, Drink. Sing. Live. Love. on July 17. 

The band, featuring  Mike Davenport (The Ataris), Chris Flippin (Lagwagon), Donald Spence and Bryan Charleson (Crooks and Liars), formed in the back of The Ataris owned record store, Down On Haley, in Santa Barbara and released their debut self-titled album in 2005 on Kung Fu Records. The band reunited in 2010 and has been working on the album since.

The 13-track Drink. Sing. Live. Love. album was 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. The first song, She Sang The Blues, can be heard below.

Versus The World will head to Europe for a tour in April/May and will announce their U.S. tour in the coming months. 

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