Tuesday, December 23, 2008


I have been anxiously anticipating the release of Joey Cape’s solo album ever since I heard rumors of its development earlier this year. I always enjoy it when the front men from some of my favorite punk bands pick up an acoustic guitar once in a while to record some songs. I grew up listening to Cape’s familiar voice as the lead singer of Lagwagon and the only other solo material that he has previously released was a split acoustic album with Fat Wreck Chords label mate Tony Sly.

The new album is entitled “Bridge” and it came out in late October of this year. In speaking about the albums symbolic title Joey Cape said “I think the musical metaphor is appropriate because it is something new for me and it will lead me to another place as a songwriter, weather it be a better appreciation of my craft or the butt of another songwriter's joke.”

The album contains twelve acoustic tracks that clock in for a total of 34 minutes. Some of the songs may sound somewhat familiar because five of them were also enhanced to punk rock form and originally released on the latest Lagwagon EP. Although these select songs are Lagwagon originals, I like them a lot better in their acoustic form.

I have always thought that Joey Cape was a good songwriter but this album really shows off his songwriting abilities. The stripped down acoustic nature of the songs helps me to really focus in on the lyrics and connect with them on a higher level than I usually do with Lagwagon songs. The lyrical content of the album ranges from relationships to reminiscing to times long past.

One of my favorite songs on the album is “The Ramones are Dead.” It’s a song where Joey Cape reminisces about the music scene when he was younger and the joys of going to the record store in hopes to find a rarity. It’s a fitting song since those days are mostly long gone. Most people get all of their music through digital sources and the fun of actually buying an album and holding a physical copy of it in your hand has become almost nonexistent.

The whole album is amazing and I don’t think that there is a bad song to be found on it. I think it’s a great musical achievement for Joey Cape as a songwriter and musician. While I hope Lagwagon continues to produce music for many years to come, I also hope Joey Cape will release more solo material in the future. Anyone who is a fan of music in general should give this album a chance whether they like Lagwagon or not.

Joey Cape- Who We've Become
From the album "Bridge" (iTunes)

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