Review Summary: Does the word "Duh?" mean anything to you? "Trashed" is Fat Wreck phenom Lagwagon's second full-length album, a developed and very enjoyable punk rock record. One of late drummer Derrick Plourde's best works.
When I began to listen to punk rock, with albums like Lagwagon’s “Trashed”, I was fairly ignorant to its musical construction. The hole in my musical integrity is due to lack of experience with instruments like the guitar, the bass guitar, and the drums. I played violin for a number of years but that was not enough to now compare with my musically sophisticated peers. Luckily for me, there is not an excess of sophistication in the composition of punk rock, and I can provide a decent analysis for interpreting the music.
With Lagwagon, I listened to their music so much in grade school that I overlooked the musical intricacies on all of their albums, as well as the development of their skill. Now that I go back and listen to older albums, I appreciate the work that goes overlooked when you’re only searching for a song fitting for an aggravated mood. “Trashed,” Lagwagon’s second full-length album was a positive progression. Musically, guitarists Chris Flippin and Shawn Dewey complement each other significantly well on tracks like “Coffee and Cigarettes,” and “Know it All.” Their work is more noticeable than in the comparatively repetitive “Duh.” Bassist Jesse Buglione is also showcased on more than a few tracks, but more noticeably “Lazy” and “Rust,” where his bass lines actually warrant attention. The late drummer Derrick Plourde also provides definitive beats which have defined Lagwagon’s rhythm. Lyrically, “Trashed” is a huge leap from their debut “Duh,” because it tackles more socially relevant issues and contains much more serious topics in greater frequency.
Homosexuality. There’s one fragmented sentence that garners attention. During my first listen, my ignorant, pre-teen conservative ears were shocked to hear that the first song on “Trashed” contained a message that was supposed to be given serious thought. Unfortunately I was still an ignorant, pre-teen conservative and did not flex my views for quite a few years after. However, I feel that this was a breakthrough. Songs from “Duh,” like “Angry Days,” and “Of Mind and Matter,” are very interesting and fun to hear, but the bottom line is that they are simple. When I hear “No One” and “Dis’chords” on “Trashed,” I am convinced of their message by the apparent sincerity and the originality of the music. “Trashed” succeeds by being original and (more) thoughtful, whereas “Duh” succeeded by being immensely enjoyable.
“Trashed” is more aggressive than typical pop-punk, though common pop-punk topics such as love and personal issues are frequently examined in Lagwagon’s music. You basically get all of the satisfaction from the lyrics without any whining, which has been replaced by an edgy vocalist in Joey Cape and a rapid-paced group of punks. The album does lack continuity (a cover of Brown-Eyed Girl) but makes up for it with humor with songs like “Stokin’ the Neighbors,” and “Goin’ South.” Both songs are about life on the road or simply life with the band. The light hearted attitude makes the music even more enjoyable.
Lagwagon was fairly original then and they only got better. In comparison to their new release “Resolve,” it is evident how far they have come along. “Trashed” is an essential for any Lagwagon fan, if not a first listen to Lagwagon because it is very accessible.