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by: Sun-J

After several releases since 1992 and claiming a cult-like following, Lagwagon decided to put the punk production on hold, and split in different directions to pursue side interests. Drummer Dave and singer Joey Cape muddled with Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, while guitarists Chris Rest and Chris Flippin joined RKL. The result? Well after reuniting to create Blaze, the side projects all have their marks embedded in the album. The leadoff track, ?Burn? has Joey Cape bringing in some Bad Astronaut (another one of his side projects) style. ?E Dagger,? which is the current radio single is so poppy punk with all of its power chords that it?s no wonder the song is a measly two minutes. ?Dancing the Collapse? is also filled with the plutonic power chords yet it is not as poppy as ?E Dagger? and in fact employs an underlying anthem that can get any ones engine revved. ?Max Says? is an introspective world view through the eyes of a simple child while ?Never Stops? is a political packed punk rush with lyrics like ?Another idiot glued to the box/scared to turn it off?? ?Lullaby? is a smooth sailing guitar solo that lulls you to harmony with subtle lyrics such as ?Every generation hates the next/I will save millions from a slow insufferable death?? ?Billionaire? is an opinionated drive right into the hearts of America?s upper class as Joey Cape rages ?f***k the purists, f***k the tourists, f***k the bourgeoisie?? (which is sort of ironic, seeing as how Chris squared had a band RKL which stood for Rich Kids on LSD.) Lagwagon finishes up the fourteen track, forty-one minute progression that is Blaze with two emo-ish songs; ?Tomorrow is Heartbreak,? and ?Baggage.? It?s not that the songs are terrible, but more rather the songs are not your typical Lagwagon. It?s blatant that their style has shifted from a furious, almost hardcore punk level to a slower Bad Astronaut meets The Starting Line sound. Nevertheless, this album should be well accepted in the punk community.


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