LAGWAGON - 'Hang' review
"For me, LAGWAGON have always been one of the more interesting Fat Wreck bands; they've been playing skatepunk since the early 90s alongside myriad bands that have become stereotyped within that genre, and though they do play with a fair amount of double-time, work heavily with melody, and use a lot of power chords, what sets them apart are Joey's flawless, virtually genius lyrics and vocal melodies, and their willingness to constantly experiment with and throw almost any genre into the mix of their skatepunk sound; they'll play rock riffs, they'll border on melodic hardcore, they'll play touching acoustics, and they'll even chuck in lounge bridges, without anything ever sounding out of place. 'Hang' definitely still possesses that level of creativity, the first three tracks alone boasting a mix of styles, whilst still retaining their characteristically punk sound. Songs like 'Poison in the Well' and 'Hang' wouldn't have sounded out of place on 'Resolve', 'Burning Out in Style' is classic LAGWAGON, as is 'Reign', if a little harder hitting than openers of previous albums, 'You Know Me' is an interesting experiment in more reserved writing styles and working with dynamics of volume, whereas 'Obsolete Absolute' shows what they're capable of in expanding the boundaries of the genre, combing instrumental rock riffs, big guitar melodies, skate beats, and anthemic choruses into one epic tune. If you already like LAGWAGON or fancy skate-punk with a little more creativity than you're used to, then check this out for sure. Great to see them still going, and writing awesome, genre defining music and still developing their sound over 20 years after they started."