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Listen to Lagwagon Get Serious on Their First Album in Nine Years

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By Dan Ozzi

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In the long lineage of bands that fit the Epitaph/Fat Wreck pop-punk prototype of the late 90s and early 2000s, there was always something special about Lagwagon. Maybe it’s that they weren’t relying on the same poop and balls jokes as their peers, instead injecting some actual wit and intellect into their lyrics. References to John Irving books and films like Jacob’s Ladder trumped the beastiality jokes that were typical of the genre. They were a bit higher brow, more pensive, and—dare I say it—more mature than their contemporaries. Their songs were poppy enough to be catchy but had enough emotion to scream them at the top of your lungs.

Lagwagon has been quiet over the last decade. Aside from an EP with the brilliantly self-deprecating title I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon in 2008, the band has not released a proper album in nine years. Now, they’re preparing to unleash their long-awaited eighth LP Hang and the California band continues to further distance themselves, not only from their peers but from themselves.

While the band does not go full Propagandhi in their transition from skate punk to metal on Hang, they do fall somewhere in the middle. Joey Cape and company drop some of the familiar poppier elements of their sound crafted and perfected on albums like Let’s Talk About Feelings and Double Plaidinum. And in their place, they’ve amplified the heavier riffs which made more prominent appearances early in the band’s career on albums like Duh and Trashed, only this time, they’ve got a darker, more sinister twist. “I think ‘The Cog In The Machine’ is the core sound of Lagwagon in our current state” Cape tells us. You can look at it as either a new direction for Lagwagon, or if you’ve followed the entirety of their career, you can look at it in the next logical step of their progression.

Listen to “The Cog in the Machine” below. Hang will be released via Fat Wreck Chords on October 28. 

Lagwagon is also going on with Swingin' Utters and This Legend:

11/06/14 - San Diego, CA, House Of Blues
11/07/14 - Indio, CA, The Date Shed 
11/08/14 - Santa Ana, CA, The Observatory 
11/09/14 - San Francisco, CA, Slim's w/ Swingin' Utters, Western Addiction, This Legend
11/11/14 - Portland, OR, Hawthorne Theatre 
11/12/14 - Seattle, WA, El Corazon 
11/13/14 - Vancouver, BC Canada, Rickshaw Theatre 
11/14/14 - Kelowna, BC Canada, Level Nightclub / EARLY SHOW! 
11/15/14 - Calgary, AB Canada, Flames Central 
11/16/14 - Edmonton, AB Canada, Union Hall 
11/17/14 - Saskatoon, SK Canada, Louis' Pub 
11/18/14 - Winnipeg, MB Canada, Pyramid Cabaret 
11/20/14 - Green Bay, WI, Green Bay Distillers 
11/21/14 - Chicago, IL, The Bottom Lounge 
11/22/14 - Detroit, MI, Magic Stick 
11/23/14 - Pittsburgh, PA, Altar Bar 
11/25/14 - Cleveland, OH, Grog Shop 
11/27/14 - London, ON Canada, Call The Office 
11/28/14 - Toronto, ON Canada, Opera House 
11/29/14 - Ottawa, ON Canada, Ritual 
11/30/14 - Montreal, QC Canada, Olympia Theatre 
12/01/14 - Quebec City, QC Canada, Imperial 
12/03/14 - Boston, MA, Brighton Music Hall 
12/04/14 - Philadelphia, PA, Theatre Of Living Arts 
12/05/14 - New York City, NY, The Gramercy Theatre 
12/06/14 - Asbury Park, NJ, Stone Pony 
12/07/14 - Washington, DC, Black Cat 
12/11/14 - Denver, CO, Summit Music Hall
 

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