Single Review: Lagwagon - "Surviving California"

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Surviving California

Fat Wreck Chords




Punk rock veterans Lagwagon are certainly not a band that would be lumped into the political punk rock subgenre, but they’re also a band that has never been shy when it comes to singing songs that relate to what’s going on - even if the topics are considered hot-button subjects. “Surviving California,” the new track from their upcoming full-length album Railer, is one of those that hits on several hot button subjects including gentrification, homelessness, etc. Though the title suggests that this is a song rooted in what is currently going on in California, it easily resonates to anywhere USA. Guitars, which lean as much on an influence from punk rock as they do metal, pull you through the intro of the song before Joey Cape comes in singing about how the wealthy are pushing into low-income areas (specifically skid row) and eliminating things such as missions serving the desolate people and replacing them with art walks while pushing/pricing out the people who called it home. A slick guitar riff at about the one-minute mark walks you perfectly into the next verse as Cape continues to spill out truths with lines such as, “Small streets swell into grand avenues” and “no longer affordable, surviving California.” No matter what city locale you reside in, this type of unsympathetic behavior is happening there. So many people have lost their sense of caring for one another and only seem to sadly care about the almighty dollar. Skinny houses popping up everywhere, the cost of living is on the rise, pay wages are on a freeze, etc. Lagwagon hasn’t just delivered a new song with “Surviving California,” but they’ve delivered a bold wake-up call!


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