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