Lagwagon
Duh (Remastered)


4.5
superb

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
January 6th, 2012 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the version of Duh that every fan will want to own.

Lagwagon is easily one of the best punk bands to come out of the early nineties, and their albums are finally receiving the remaster-and-reissue treatment. For those that don’t know, Duh was Lagwagon’s debut album and featured a very unrefined version of what they would eventually become. It was an album that flirted with serious topics and random humor without any real sense of direction, but it worked. The music itself was raw punk rock with the occasional off-kilter moment, and featured Joey Cape at his grittiest. Of course it also featured a few awkward moments, songwriting that didn’t always seem to reach its potential and a very thin sound overall, but these quirks were mostly endearing. Anyway, on this 2011 reissue of the album, the thin sound has been updated and comes with a bonus disc full of demos and early unreleased tracks.

The first disc is mostly comprised of the original album (in its new remastered form), and it sounds great. The guitars aren’t nearly as thin as they once were and the whole thing seems to have a much fuller sound. That doesn’t mean that these songs suddenly sound as crisp and clear as anything on Resolve or even the original version of Trashed, but they’re still much better than the originals. The main remaining issue is that the thin drum sound is still present, and that some people might still be turned off by the album’s work-in-progress songwriting approach. On the other hand, it was that youthful exuberance that led to such classics as “Beer Goggles” and “Mr. Coffee” – and who can dismiss the fun train wreck that was their cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”. The first disc ends with three unreleased tracks, including an acoustic version of “Angry Days” and a previously unreleased track entitled “Demented Rumors”. “Demented Rumors” definitely displays a darker side of Lagwagon due to the clean guitar tone in places and lyrical subject matter, and kind of shares a common spirit with The Offspring’s “Dirty Magic”.

Despite Duh’s improved sound and the inclusion of three unreleased tracks, the second disc will probably be the most interesting for long time fans. This disc gives fans a rare glimpse into the band’s earliest days through the inclusion of rare unreleased tracks and early demos. Surprisingly, the band started life as an angry, abrasive metal/hardcore crossover band. It’s almost a little unsettling to hear the (generally articulate) Joey Cape screaming “***ing bitch!” over metal riffs on “Jaded Ways” or yelling with unbridled anger on the original metal version of “Tragic Vision”. Even the demo versions of tracks such as “Beer Goggles” and “Foiled Again” that were recorded closer to the actual recording of Duh feature a much angrier and in-your-face approach than the versions that eventually made the album. It’s definitely very cool to hear the band’s songs as they were initially envisioned, before they were stripped down for easy punk rock consumption. For example, the demo version of “Bury the Hatchet” features an additional minute of music that includes a pretty soaring guitar solo, and a few additional musical flourishes.

Lagwagon are easily one of the best punk bands to come from the nineties scene and this reissue was a long time coming. The remastered version of Duh manages to fix most of the minor sound issues that plagued the original album and would have been worth the (re)purchase price all on its own, but the inclusion of a second disc full of unreleased tracks and alternate demo versions makes acquiring this album a no-brainer. The original tracks sound re-invigorated (minus the same basic drum sound) and the second disc is full of surprises. In the end, this is the version of Duh that all fans of Lagwagon will want to own.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
4.2
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
January 6th 2012


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Tragic Vision (Original Metal Version):

http://www.myspace.com/lagwagon/music/songs/tragic-vision-demo-84806252


If you have Spotify, the full 2-disc album is on there.

Spotify: http://open.spotify.com/album/4dozi9MXMCXoyIOLtOQJqZ



Satellite
January 6th 2012


20826 Comments


umm... wow

i need this

Lambda
January 6th 2012


2452 Comments


Lagwagon is awesome. I've heard one or two tracks off this, but never the whole thing. I may end up checking this out. Good review.

ConsiderPhlebas
January 6th 2012


6157 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome

Ire
January 6th 2012


41803 Comments


nice

Mordecai.
January 6th 2012


8279 Comments


Beer Goggles

londoncalling457
January 6th 2012


2608 Comments


yessss

xfearbefore
January 6th 2012


1245 Comments


I was just thinking to myself the other day that this could use a reissue. Great slice of 90s punk.

drasticaction74
January 6th 2012


1740 Comments


"Color Blind" rules, why has it been hiding for 20 years?

Kris.
January 6th 2012


12345 Comments


never really listened to lagwagon cept for a few songs guess i should pick this up

KILL
January 6th 2012


71960 Comments


yea fun band

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

Satellite
January 6th 2012


20826 Comments


kris, listen to their live in a dive.

Willie
Moderator
January 6th 2012


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Color Blind" does rule, but there are a lot of other cool songs on that second disc.

KILL
January 6th 2012


71960 Comments


willie review energetic disassembly, this is an order

Willie
Moderator
January 6th 2012


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Will do.

KILL
January 6th 2012


71960 Comments


nah just wondering if you were going to cos i would review it but you'd do a way better job so

Willie
Moderator
January 6th 2012


16051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I didn't plan on it, but I can.

dawija3
January 6th 2012


213 Comments


lagwagon is easily one of the best punk bands to come out of the early nineties

Oceanus
January 7th 2012


877 Comments


This looks awesome.

Acanthus
January 7th 2012


9543 Comments


If this wasn't so well endorsed I'd say it looked horrible.

Always nice to see a review from you Willie!

Digging: The Knife - Deep Cuts



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