Lagwagon
Resolve


4.5
superb

Review

by STFDood84 USER (8 Reviews)
November 3rd, 2005 | 18 replies | 10,773 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


7 of 7 thought this review was well written

Well, to really get the album, a little background is in order.

As many fans (and non-fans) already know, on April 30, 2005, Derrick Plourde - original founding member and drummer for Lagwagon's first three records (Duh, Trashed, and Hoss), as well as active drummer for Bad Astronaut and Jaws - committed suicide after a long battle with depression and drug abuse. Although Plourde hadn't been in the 'Wagon for almost ten years, this dealt the band a heavy emotional blow, especially for Joey Cape, Lag's singer and one of Derrick's best friends (as well as bandmate in Bad Astronaut).

Almost immediately, Lagwagon began writing and recording*most of what would become Resolve - the seventh full-length from the highly-influential So-Cal punk mainstays - as both an instant emotional reaction and as homage to Derrick's life. And on those notes, this album succeeds brilliantly. They say music can be inspired by horrific trials as well as love and passion, and this is a product of all three. Tragically beautiful, crushingly emotional, and touching to anyone who's ever experienced loss, Resolve is arguably Lagwagon's finest hour, at least lyrically.

Cape has never been so heartbreakingly-honest as he is here, running the gamut of emotions from hopeful ("The days are new, the nights unwind/You break my world, you change my mind/Run out of love, come down from life/Run out of pain, my life has changed"), crushing sadness ("In that horror scene/One too sad to be/In my mind’s eye I am there/Embracing you so scared/Now you kill me too/You killed me too"), desperation ("Why would you… how would you let go?/I just wanted to see you wake up one day with an expectation/I just wanted to see you wake up one day with a real smile on your face") to grim resignation ("I am the jest malignant cell/Playwright to your hell/I think I knew you well/But I wish I were as smart as you/I could I have changed your mind/Would of, should of, the question ‘til I die"), all with a poetic flair that is too earnest to dismiss, and emotionally, THE heaviest stuff you will listen to for quite some time. Many different times I was moved to tears by this album, especially on songs like "Creepy", "Sad Astronaut", and "Resolve".

Musically, this is the same old Lagwagon that penned classics like "May 16", "Violins", and "Stokin' The Neighbors" - fast, energetic, highly-melodic punk rock featuring Joey Cape's instantly-recognizable lyrics and singing. A bit more stripped-down than 2003's shred/breakdown-heavy Blaze, it actually sounds a lot like 1995's Hoss (fittingly, the last Lag album that Derrick played on), favoring the more rockin', straight-forward tunes and melodies and combining them with the darker musical themes and moods of 1997's Double Plaidinum. The guitar work is phenomenal as always, with Leon and Flip bringing in a few new tricks to the Lag with some formidable, almost A7X-ish harmonized leads on tracks like "The Contortionist", "Infectious", and "Automatic", as well as balls-out shredding like on "Rager" and "Days Of New". Jesse B. reliably lays down solid, catchy grooves on the bass (standouts are the jumpy catchiness of "Virus", and the old-school rock groove of "Automatic"), while Dave Raun cements his rep as one of, if not THE, most in-the-pocket, complete package drummers in rock music today. Listen to the bridge on "Choke" off of 97's Double Plaidinum (or anything off the live album), and you'll know what I'm talking about. He has to be heard to be believed.

Lagwagon's main strength has never been its originality, though - it's their uncanny consistency of putting out great punk records, even if they're still using those same old power chords, with each album retaining a very distinct vibe, style, and mood. In this, Resolve is not much different than their other work in that it is just that - a Lagwagon record.

And I can't think of a better tribute to Derrick. RIP bro.

PROS

- Breathtakingly emotional
- Great songwriting and amazing lyrics. Simply Cape's best effort yet for Lagwagon
- Extremely consistent track-to-track
- Simple-to-intricate-to-shred-your-face guitar work
- Incredible drumming. Dave Raun simply owns

CONS

- Same ol' Lagwagon, depending on your opinion
- Solos are a bit more sparse, less shredding (but more harmonizing)
- A few more fast tracks would have been cool; the line between Lag and Bad Astronaut is getting a little too blurry these days

STANDOUT TRACKS: The Contortionist, Virus, Heartbreaking Music, Sad Astronaut, Infectious, Days Of New



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user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
FauxApathy
November 3rd 2005



98 Comments


err, what's up with all the asterisks?

innerdark
November 3rd 2005



749 Comments


yeah, please explain


Rudd13
November 3rd 2005



952 Comments


Your review is very confusing in a way that its barely even possible to read. Maybe a little edit or two is in order. Other than that, I've heard these guys before on various of the Punk-O-Rama compilations, but never really got my attention. Shame to hear about the drummer, I thought he had left the band instead of something that tragic. Fix some bugs in this one and youll have yourself some tasty progress.

NEDM
November 3rd 2005



1113 Comments


It's a huge paragraph. I've lost my place so many times that I don't even wanna bother to try to read it any longer.

innerdark
November 3rd 2005



749 Comments


It's a huge paragraph. I've lost my place so many times that I don't even wanna bother to try to read it any longer.


he speaks truth

the only thing you can see is the asterisks, the text is migraine inducing

CushMG15
November 3rd 2005



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm thinking something got screwed up with his review. His No Use For A Name review is just fine...No one in their right mind would do that to a review that was meant to be taken seriously.

STFDood84
November 4th 2005



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I have no friggin' clue why there's asteriks on there. I typed it up spaced completely correctly, and it came up like this. I can't seem to edit it either...

STFDood84
November 4th 2005



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fixed.

STFDood84
November 5th 2005



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Come on... no one has listened to this or Lagwagon?

CushMG15
November 5th 2005



1802 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm diggin this stuff man, thanks for the recommendation. Good review too.

STFDood84
November 9th 2005



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bump... gotta spread the weeerd. I'll put up reviews for Blaze and Let's Talk About Feelings soon...

spoon_of_grimbo
December 11th 2005



2240 Comments


i got the "lets talk about feelings album" and it was a bit bland for my tastes. not bad, but not a classic either. mite have to check this one out tho. nice review!

STFDood84
December 29th 2005



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This one is my favorite punk album of the year, slightly edging Potemkin City Limits and tied with Ruiner... people gotta listen to this!

albert_bass
December 29th 2005



34 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album this one, I really enjoyed it. Virus and Automatic being my favorite songs. But the best Lagwagon album is still Trashed. Anyway I'm glad to see they still write good music.

STFDood84
January 28th 2006



179 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bad Astronaut reviews coming soon... why in the fcuk have people never heard of this band either? Truly GREAT music...

As for BA, Cape has stated that he WILL release the last BA album sometime this year, which was recorded mid-2004 before BA quietly disbanded (pre-Derrick's suicide). If anyone reads this, go order/DL the album Houston, We Have A Drinking Problem RIGHT NOW. Seriously. You will not regret it.

RandyfromPennywise
July 19th 2006



752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

[QUOTE=STFDood84]Bad Astronaut reviews coming soon

I'll put up reviews for Blaze and Let's Talk About Feelings soon[/QUOTE]Do one for Let's Talk About Feelings if you get round to doing anymore reviews.

JellyBeanMan
July 14th 2007



1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for writing this review. I found it very easy to read. Lagwagon are one of my favourite bands and this album I find in my Stereo more often than others because it is so truthful. Cape's songwriting is definitely at its best here.

I've been meaning to check out Bad Astronaut but its difficult to find there stuff here in England... must try harder

StrizzMatik
July 20th 2008



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to album a lot lately... a friend of mine killed himself recently and listening to this made me cry like a little bitch.

Digging: United Nations - The Next Four Years



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