Lagwagon - Resolve
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Written in the days following founding drummer Derrick Plourde's death, Resolve is Lagwagon embracing their skatepunk roots to honor a fallen friend. The music is the classic, fast-paced pop-punk Lagwagon is known for, but the band's usually lighthearted lyrics are replaced -- not surprisingly -- with a grief-stricken Joey Cape attempting to come to terms with Plourde's suicide. This album is his catharsis, and it runs the gamut of emotions felt in times of unexpected tragedy. From guitar-driven reflections on looking through belongings left behind ("Rager") to the pain in wondering what Derrick may have been thinking moments before ("Sad Astronaut"), this is an obviously dark record, but finds Lagwagon's playing just as tight as ever. Even the album's final love song is a tribute to Derrick ("But we may never have met if it weren't for him/Hey Derrick, maybe somehow you're listening"). Resolve is a great Lagwagon album musically, but with sentiments like "Goodbye old friend I won't speak of all that could have been," also a fitting tribute to Plourde by those who knew him best. And for the fans who only knew him through his breakneck drumbeats, it's a way for them to rock -- and say goodbye as well.