Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - #10 - Lagwagon

Dave Grohl (from the Foo Fighters) may be the modern day king of rock and roll, but Joey Cape (from Lagwagon and Bad Astronaut) may be the prince of punk.

Lagwagon has been around for YEARS (literally since the late 80’s), and I have never heard one bad album or been disappointed by any of their songs. 30+ years of being a band that puts out great albums and puts on incredible live shows means you are doing something very right.

Led by frontman Cape, Lagwagon has the unique ability as a punk band to make some complex songs, speed songs, and slow ballads unlike any other band that has been their contemporaries. The only other band I would say is able to do this on a level even remotely close to Lagwagon is Bracket, but they are just not at the pinnacle like Lagwagon is.

If you have never heard of Lagwagon, don’t be alarmed as you haven’t missed some massive cover up. This band has actually rejected major label offers over the years to avoid fame. They have been signed to Fat Wreck Chords for every album that they have released. Fat Mike of NOFX has known them for ages and wanted them on his indie label. They have never left.

We have finally reached the Top 10 in this list!

For those of you who are just joining this list at this point, let me give a quick summary below:

  • In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.
  • You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.
  • I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.

With that said, let's get to #10 on my Top 40 List Before 40:

Lagwagon May 16 Rehearsal

#10 - Lagwagon

My first impression of Lagwagon was that they were a bit “too speed punk” for my tastes, because at the time I was really into Blink-182 which is not so “metal.”

However, after I gave a few more listens to different songs, and once the album Let’s Talk About Feelings came out, Lagwagon became one of the bands that I listened to more than any other punk band. 

I actually have not stopped listening to Lagwagon since that album came out, and though they have gone on hiatus many times due to side projects, the band has always come back together to record a new album every few years.

Hell, they even have their own day based on one of their most popular songs - May 16 (Lagwagon Day).

In 2021, the band celebrated their day by doing a DOUBLE livestream show where they played the whole album of Let’s Talk About Feelings and a bunch of other tracks.

If you have never seen or heard of this band, the best way to describe them is think of a GOOD punk band, then speed them up by 1.5 times and make that punk band 10 times more talented. That’s Lagwagon.

I would recommend that you go to their website often to see when they come to a town near you so you can check out one of their shows, because they are phenomenal live, and the crowd has a ton of energy when they are on stage.

First timer? Check out these 5 songs that will leave you wanting more and more Lagwagon:

1 - “Sleep
2 - “May 16
3 - “Razor Burn
4 - “Messengers
5 - “Know It All


Similar Artists That I Recommend That Didn't Make The Top 40:

Strung Out, Pennywise, Bracket

<-- Check out #11 on this list or Check out #9 on this list → (Available June 22, 2021)

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