LAGWAGON. Did I catch you off guard? I bet you haven't heard that name in awhile. Fat Wreck's first officially signed band seems to pop up on my map every few years, but their soon to be released EP, I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon, has caught me with my pants down and forced a pang of guilt on me, as I've rarely even thought about this band over the past three years. I think the guilt is slightly based on my status as the "Older Brother."
Let's take it back about seven years. In 2000, following five full-length albums, Wikipedia has told me that Lagwagon took a hiatus! Umm shit, had no idea. When 2003's Blaze hit shelves, it seemed to me they must have ventured out on a five year tour co-headlining with No Use for a Name. Seriously though, Lagwagon isn't a very forgettable band, but it seemed only natural that a few Fat Wreck nineties punkers were about due to hit the dust. All the bands signed to Fat Wreck seemed far too happy and complacent for it to be a real record label.
When Bad Astronaut came out with its first release, Joey Cape's eternally recognizable vocals had seemed to follow his heart in a musical evolution that only seemed natural at his age. They were too old to be punk rockers anymore...weren't they?
Au contraire. It seems I saw Lagwagon at Warped Tour, shortly before this supposed hiatus, and everyone in the crowd left the stage area with a smile on his or her face. Short of a heroin binge or the development of fatal heart diseases, the band couldn't have done that much to slow themselves down.
Blaze and Resolve (2005) appeared to pick up right where the band had left off, blasting out charming, melodic punk anthems at breakneck speed. I picked up both releases, and there was a defiant pleasure in them, but the band failed to do anything noteworthy since these albums.
Lagwagon fans -- rejoice! For it turns out Bad Astronaut was not so badass after all and has not withstood the test of time, and ITMOBUTLTL has been sent to fill the gap in your safety-pin closed hearts. The EP, which drops August 19th, does not disappoint the avid Lagwagon fan. Holding the title of an "Avid Lagwagon Fan," as well as having attained the release before it shall be let loose on the starving masses, I fully endorse this album. It isn't a deviation from their last umpteen albums, but that Lagwagon charm is still intact and churning at full speed.
"I'm old school / I'm played out / osteoporosis, glaucoma and neurosis / the vultures circling above our balding heads."
- Joey Cape, "Falling Apart"