Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Joey Cape - Bridge

Perhaps you are familiar with Mr. Joey Cape? The proud son of Goleta has helmed Fat Wreck punk stalwarts Lagwagon since '89, in addition to playing guitar with Me First and The Gimme Gimmes. Recently, he had doing his more low-key Bad Astronaut project with the late Derrick Plourde and some dudes from The Ataris.

Bad Astronaut was put on blocks after Plourde's passing, but the more melancholic side that was introduced via BA has continued in Cape's solo work. Bridge is the portrait of an aging punk rocker coming to grips with death, marriage and fatherhood. It's a full plate, but luckily said lifestyle changes haven't scuttled his musical ship like it has for Jeff Ott.

I won't begrudge his domesticity, but that's not to say that I'm dying to hear snippets of his kid in-between songs or want to see kid art in the packaging. I guess that's between Joey and Virgil over at Suburban Home. That said, Cape's a pretty talented guy. The melancholia that permeates Bridge isn't so jarring that it makes for rapid track-skipping. In fact, it's actually really good.

Virgil and Suburban Home have always been good for taking a chance on an established artist that's investigating a new direction. It's worked with Tim Barry and Chuck Ragan and with the BA provenance, Bridge may very well serve as a literal avenue to a new fanbase. There are nods to his punk rock past, but most of them are lyrical, as evinced by songs like The Ramones Are Dead. If you're expecting the Fat-compliant rock of Cape's other franchises, you would do well to look elsewhere, although things kick up into a full-band racket to close the proceedings. Bridge is more Sundowner or Elliott Smith and the songs are toned accordingly, so maybe stay away from this Bridge if you're feeling poorly.

I'm not sure that this is a release that Joey will support by touring, but if you've been bitten by the Cape bug, keep tabs on him here. Virgil's got a holiday sale going on over at the Suburban Home, so pick up a copy of Bridge cheap here and see what else they've got on markdown.


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