Lagwagon - Hoss (Cover Artwork)


Hoss (1995)


For nineties week, this review will be revisiting one of Lagwagon's classics, Hoss. Hoss was released on Fat Wreck Chords in 1995 and some of its songs were on many a Live Fat compilation, such as Sleep. But the overall album is an excellent work of the golden age of skate punk. Kids Don't Like to Share starts it off, a song that discusses how people look to some imagined greater figure for guidance then turn on them out of jealousy and look for something else, never actually getting what they want. Violins is a well known song partly due to the acoustic cover and is faster and lighter than the first track. Name Dropping is about the hidden minefields of shit talking and how everyone does it but sometimes one person gets singled out for it. Move the Car and Bombs Away are next and are slower, with Bombs Away a commentary about some chronically late friend. The middle of the album has Sleep, a fun song with alternating tempos with stream of consciousness lyrics probably written under some kind of influence. Sick is about depression and is pretty powerful and shows the beginnings of what Joey Cape would do later with Lagwagon.  Weak is a song about someone taking their aggression out on someone else. Black Eyes is a ballad about an idiot with its beginning of "He knows no shame and takes no blame...."

The album becomes more somber and serious and slower paced towards the end. Razor Burn is about growing a beard of shame and dressing in black after a break up. Shaving Your Head is another ballad about someone self destructing. Ride the Snake is a final coda that has a slow dirge like beat and is about being unable to handle a relationship but expecting to see them at the next punk show you go to anyway even though you'd rather not.

Hoss is a wonderful album that shows the transition between early Lagwagon and later more  and serious Lagwagon. It has just the right mixture of enjoyable pop punk and more intense and raw songs. You could skate to it or listen to it during a break up. This reviewer had many good times to this album over the years and everyone can still listen to it and do the same.