Lagwagon - Trashed (2LP)
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Lagwagon has always been labeled as the stereotypical Fat Wreck Chords band. With a sound similar to that of NOFX and many other bands on that label (i.e., galloping pop-punk, harmonized vocals and a start-stop rhythm), these guys have been unfairly judged as another carbon copy California band -- but Lagwagon has a more mature, structured sound in comparison to a lot of the bands on the aforementioned label. With their second album, Trashed, it's pretty obvious that they've grown up lyrically as well. The opening track, "Island of Shame," deals with the isolation of having a disease in a narrow-minded small town. Along with some of the more serious songs on Trashed, there are an equal number of tunes that reflect a more playful side. For example, "Goin' South" talks about the frustrations of getting lost on the way to one of their shows: "We're heading south on the north bound/Our wheels might as well be square." Then there's their rendition of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl," in which they butcher this classic in a way that makes it ten times more enjoyable. This album should appeal to the 15-year-old skater in all of us.