Category: Music Blog

LAGWAGON – Live in a Dive

When making a live CD, it’s always important to keep in mind the longevity of the album. Will this be a good representation of the band years down the line? For example, Bad Religion: Their live album came out shortly after the Gray Race and you can tell because almost every second song is off of the Gray Race (Which is considered one of their weaker albums) It makes the classic mistake of dating itself by focusing on the most recent album at the time.

Lagwagon has successfully made a live album that encompasses every release in their career and will stand the test of time! The song choice is a mix of old and new and a few fun songs that they could only get away with live.

It has “Beer Goggles” from “D’uh” which they mention as being a song they don’t like to play so if it’s a favorite, this could be your only chance to hear it. Other highlights include “Violins” from their 1995 album “Hoss” and fan favorite “Stokin’ the Neighbors” from the 1994 classic “Trashed”.

One of the strengths of live albums is that you get to hear all the between song banter and get a sense of the band’s personality and stage presence. Unfortunately a lot of the humor just doesn’t translate well to a CD. For example they have a song “Coconut” that would be fun live once, but really wasn’t necessary to be on the disc and disrupts the punk rock flow. The humor does work on “Back one out” which is a variation of their cover of “Mama said knock you out”. This is actually one of the best segments on the CD with some great dialogue between Joey Cape and Chris Flippin.

As with all “Live in a Dive” albums the CD booklet contains a mini comic book. It depicts the band as a bunch of serial killers and also features that scary chick from the cover of “Let’s talk about feelings”. There’s also some extra CD ROM features to check out. They have a live video for Mr Coffee (Which wasn’t included as a song on the CD… why?) and then after that a pretty entertaining interview with by Fat Mike.

They also have a couple of new songs. “The Chemist” which has the classic Lagwagon sound. It’s worth having on here and gives fans another justification to buy the CD. There’s also a 40 second song called “Mister Bap” that has to be an old punk cover or something. Before the song Joey sarcastically declares “This is the best song we’ve ever written” but it totally sounds like a cover. It sounds good though and is a good departure for the band.

If you like Lagwagon and you like Live albums, this is a well done package with only a few minor flaws.

KEELHAUL – Subject To Change Without Notice

It was almost hard to pinpoint exactly how I felt about this band at first. They have this ripping metal sound, but also a math rock sound. The CD as a whole is really sick, I love how hard the riffs would seem to grind at my head. It’s amazing that these guys actually came out of the Midwest, Cleveland to be exact. There is no doubt of talent when it comes to them. It’s great when a band can reach down and rip your own intensity out to make you feel what the band is trying to communicate. Which is an empty loud sound of everything you love to hate.

The band has 2 previous releases, but Subject to Change seems to be of their best yet. The violence of this album just seeps out of just about every chord and vocal, but there is still a softness in there at various moments. I love the way it’s used, to bring the whole harshness down a couple of notches to give even more depth to the music. It’s an all around amazing CD, with many amazing tracks. My pick of the lot being number 6, “HMG.” It may only be a 1:45 long, but the longing reaching melodic rock sound brings in just a ground sound mixed with blinding ripping metal on the various other tracks. It’s a truly great must have for anyone with an emotional rollercoaster going on inside them.


Jughead’s Revenge are one of those bands that most people are familiar with. The band has been around for a very long time now. Starting their career off on BYO Records and then later taking a move to Nitro Records. This is their latest effort entitled, “Pearly Gates.”

The CD is more of what we have come to expect from Jughead’s Revenge. The songs have gotten tighter and the vocals go down much easier then before. Gone are the Hardcore days of their BYO Records releases. Here are more of the melodic hooks and catchy choruses we’ve come to expect from their later albums.

The first song, “These Valley Streets” is a good opener. It is a fast paced song that really prepares you for what the album will sound like. The second song, “Lolita” is probably one of the worst Jughead’s Revenge songs ever. The song is just plagued by bad lyrics and boring music. Good thing this is only one song on the album. The next song might sound familiar if you have, “Short Songs for Short People” in your collection. They have added another verse to the song and made it longer. The song was very good on the Short for Short comp and now is much better here.

The two best songs on the CD are, “No Time” and “Anthem.” Both songs carry a very ballad feel to them. They are both songs that I could imagine the whole crowd singing along to. Another highlight would be the cover, “Just What I Needed.” This song has been done many times before, but the Jughead’s Revenge version for some reason just sounds the best to me.

This CD is probably their second best release. It could not reach the bar that was set by their previous record, “Just Joined.” Don’t let that take away from it though, this CD is definitely a nice addition to the Jughead’s Revenge catalog.


As I popped this CD in, I didn’t really know what to expect. As far as I had heard, this band was a political techno/punk band. Comes to find out that what I heard was correct. The techno really isn’t too bad. It adds something extra to the otherwise bland music. The vocals on the other hand were just terrible. I swear this guy has something in his mouth as he is “singing” and I use this term loosely.

The “singing” is really just some guy talking with what sounds like food in his mouth while some people in the back ground sing some Woahs in the background. Occasionally you do get back up vocals by Justin Sane of Anti-Flag fame. This is not enough to save it I’m afraid. The lyrics are probably the highlight of this CD. I like the fact that they explain their lyrics. I have seen this done in both Anti-Flag and Propagandhi CD’s and I must say I enjoy the informative stories. I don’t really know why A-F Records decided to give this band a chance.

I’m assuming that their political messages agree with those of A-F Records. I can’t see this band being well liked by many. In addition, I’m not really sure how this kind of music would be represented live. I cannot imagine it being done very well.

IN STEREO – Death Before EMO

I had never heard of these guys before, but as soon as I picked up the EP and saw four punk kids, one of which was sporting a Ramones T-shirts, I knew that they were gonna be OK. I’m happy to report that some albums can be judged by their titles.

In Stereo kicks out 6 catchy pop songs that make you want to drive your car at unsafe speeds. These guys remind me a whole lot of The Gamits, one of my all-time favorite bands. Their songs are catchy, well written and fun enough to sing along to. I’d like to see them dive headfirst into the bubble-gum punk sound by adding some Beach Boys style background vocals, or perhaps a few handclaps here and there. Be sure to keep your eye on these guys because something tells me that their next release is going to blow the lid off all that other crap out continuing to stink up the pop punk genre.