Lagwagon has been around for tons of years (older than most of their fans, since they started in 1988). There is a comparable chunk of Lagwagon’s sound to The Vandals, in that a number of their tracks have the same style of hair-metal guitars. Couple that with a chunky bass that plays a major role in a number of tracks (especially “Automatic”) and one has theformula for a sold, spastic punk band. Link that to a completely professional type of sound and one has an idea of what Lagwagon sounds like.
The only thing that provides an impediment to the complete enjoyment of Lagwagon has to be the extended length of tracks like “Automatric”; there just is not enough in the way of new material to keep individuals interested through something that while not tremendously repetitive is enough so to get weary. There is the same brand of “poppiness” that runs through Lagwagon’s sound that links them with bands like (Early) Unwritten Law and Face To Face; the music that Lagwagon puts out on “Resolve” is the perfect thing to crank when everyone is drinking or hanging out. Even if “The Contortionist” has breakneck drumming throughout, Lagwagon can still dictate how the overall tempo of the track goes. This means that some ska elements are thrown in, and a guitar riff that would make C.C. Deville blush at its sheer beauty to make a complete track.. Even when Lagwagon throws a curveball (the tender acoustic strains that open up “Sad Astronaut”, Joey’s vocals nonetheless link the track well to the rest of the songs here; this quiet style even gives the straight-forward sound of Lagwagon a boost of intensity.
“Rager”, the disc’s shortest track may also be the most memorable. With a drumming that will immediately bring individuals into the pit, Lagwagon shows that the years have not slowed them down in the slightest. “Infectious”, the penultimate track on “Resolve” has a slightly different sound to the production that gives it a perfect amount of fuzz, and gives it the perfect lo-fi, garage punk sound. Overall, “Resolve” is a disc of hits, something that I would mistake for a greatest hits if I was unfamiliar with Lagwagon. So many different avenues are taken with “Resolve” that show Lagwagon’s expansion as a band, and show that punk itself is a genre that can accommodate a tremendous amount of differentiation.
Top Tracks: Days of New, Rager
Lagwagon – Resolve / 2005 Fat Wreck / 12 Tracks / http://www.lagwagon.com / http://www.fatwreck.com / Reviewed 04 December 2005