Written by: PP on 05/11/2005 17:18:52

Lagwagon's rumoured glorious return to form has become reality with "Resolve", their lyrically darkest, and ironically, most meaningful album to date. The album was penned in the weeks after their original drummer Derrick Plourde's suicide, and this album works as a tribute to him. It is a deeply emotional album about death, loss, grief, sorrow and how to get on with your life after you lose a best friend.

Each and every song on the album is, directly or indirectly, about Derrick and his suicide. The album opener "Heartbreaking Music" defines the content of the album with its dark, grieving lyrics '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', while still staying true to Lagwagon's trademark sound. "Infectious", the second last track on the album, contains the most explicit emotional outburst by the band, when their vocalist Joey shouts out loud a long, extended "Goodbye old friend" with indescribable depth of desperate yet passionate grief. It's almost like a screamed out loud "NOOOO! WHY?? WHY???" you see in the movies when someone's close relative dies. The album is finished by a slightly brighter goodbye track "Days Of New", describing how the band tries to get on with their lives after the tragedy. The final words of the album are touching repetitions of "I'll never forget I'll never forget", guaranteed to mean much, much more to Joey and co than they sound like. It will be interesting to see how the band reacts live during the "Resolve" songs. It must be more than weird for Lagwagon to switch from the rather unserious songs like "Violins" into singing about Derrick's burial in the title track.

Strictly stylistically speaking, not much has changed about Lagwagon compared to their previous releases. They're one of those bands who keeps rewriting the same song over and over again, but who cares when it sounds this good? Ironically, it took the death of a close friend before the band brought their lyrical talent into life; "Resolve" is an album anyone can relate to when losing a close one. If the unfortunate event of losing someone close to you happens, "Resolve" should be the first album on your hands, as you'll be able to relate each and every song to your feelings. It's an album based on real emotions and it's so brutally honest that it hurts just listening to them singing about their grief.

"Resolve" is simply high paced emotional punk rock excellence. It isn't a groundbreaking album by any means, but it makes you re-discover the reason why Lagwagon have triumphed for 15 years and going. If you've been living in a cave for the past 15 years and haven't heard Lagwagon yet, now is the time to do so. They are, after all, one of the most significant bands other than Bad Religion and NOFX in the development of 90s punk rock.


Download: Rager, Infectious
For the fans of: NOFX, Bad Religion

Release date 01.11.2005
Fat Wreck Chords

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