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Lagwagon - Live in a Dive 
By Kevin Wierzbicki

“They’re old and fat, they’re washed-up and ugly, they’re wanna-be has-beens; they suck!!!” Okay, so maybe some people have that opinion of Lagwagon. But those words actually came from band bassist Jesse Buglione as part of the self-deprecating dialog in the comic book that accompanies this latest release in Fat’s Live in a Dive series. A sense of humor is essential to fully enjoy the ’Wagon and singer Joey Cape teases the sold out House of Blues audience right off the bat by welcoming them to his “acoustic set,” a reference to his side gig with Tony Sly of No Use for a Name. But then the tunes fly hot and heavy from “Alien 8” to “Violins” and a cruise to the “Island of Shame.” “Give it Back” is a perfect demonstration of what fifteen years of experience have done for the band’s skate-punk sound---Buglione lays done a jazzy bass line while guitarists Chris “Flip” Flippin and Chris “Leon” Rest singe everything within earshot, nary a note out of place. Maybe they’re not perfectionists, but they’re certainly not sloppy, and this album will surprise anyone who has only had a casual listen to Lagwagon. And par for the course with “live” or “hits” records, there are two new songs on Live in a Dive. Cape introduces “Mr. Bap” as being “Not very good” but then changes his mind and says it’s the best song the band has ever written. The song turns out to be an extremely abbreviated riff with a quick vocal shout by Jesse. So the only actual new song is “The Chemist;” a typical Lagwagon pummeling that lulls you into a false sense of laid-backness with a reggae intro. Of course “Beer Goggles” is here; so are “Burn,” “Coffee and Cigarettes” and “Stokin’ the Neighbors.” If you throw this enhanced CD into your computer you will be treated to a video of “Mr. Coffee” and an interview segment conducted while the band takes a sauna. Okay, maybe that last part is not exactly a treat. But this is a well put together package, and considering that Lagwagon tend to go about five years between releases these days, Live in a Dive makes a tasty tide-me-over.

CD Info 

Lagwagon - Live in a Dive
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Release Date: 2-8-05
Alien 8
Never Stops
Island of Shame
Give it Back
Making Friends
After You My Friend
Razor Burn
Falling Apart
Mister Bap
Beer Goggles
The Chemist
May 16th
Bombs Away
Back One Out
Coffee and Cigarettes
Stokin’ the Neighbors
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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