HANG (available now)
GENRE | PUNK (MASTER’S DIVISION)
LABEL | FAT WRECK RECORDS
It’s been nine years since Lagwagon’s last proper LP, and that’s because of lead man Joey Cape’s creative sincerity. Countless bands produce an album, and spend the next few years and albums trying to capture that first charming buzz. Lagwagon took their time and it shows. Hang is the four-block shape in Tetris you wait anxiously for, but when it arrives, its a perfect fit, harmoniously restoring order. The band is assured, complex in their compositions, and dark. Oh so dark—there’s a noose on the cover! Cape has described this album as his “bitter old man record.”
While some bands burnout physically or creatively, Lagwagon remain creative and hungry. The drums on this record snap with sharp density—a direct result of recording with Descendents/All drummer Bill Stevenson at his Blasting Room. This clarity of beat blends perfectly with the foreboding notes and riffs of “Obsolete Absolute.” “One More Song” is in memory of lost friend, and Fat Wreck favorite Tony Sly, opening with a touching piano solo and heartfelt lyric –Cape is never one to shy away from life’s struggles. “In Your Wake” powerfully closes the album, shining a light on the resounding lack of empathy in people.
As usual with Lagwagon, they balance the vinegar and the honey. The harsh realities of life are met with a determination to remain true and forge ahead.