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Joey Cape - Bridge Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.5
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 9
Production 8.25
Creativity 7.5
Lasting Value 8.5
Reviewer Tilt 9
Final Verdict: 84%
Member Ratings
Vocals 7.7
Musicianship 7.35
Lyrics 7.75
Production 7.45
Creativity 7
Lasting Value 7.55
Reviewer Tilt 7.8
Average: 75%
Inside AP.net

Joey Cape - Bridge

Reviewed by: Chris Fallon (10/17/08)
Joey Cape - Bridge
Record Label: Suburban Home Records
Release Date: October 21, 2008


The power of acoustic records can be devastatingly intense or boring works of fail. How many times can someone croon away through melancholy lyrics about the hardships of love lost and life giving you the short end of the stick? They oftentimes work better as EPs, but every once in awhile, we're pulled in by the sheer wisdom of someone who is just like us. Yes, we can relate to a musician's work and love it on a personal level -- vice-presidents, however? Well, that's another story entirely.

For many, Joey Cape is most well-known for his work with Lagwagon, longtime fixtures of the California skate punk scene, and Bad Astronaut, a more indie-based side project that released three full-lengths. What some of you might be surprised to know is that Cape is a bonafied icon who writes some of the best songs you'll ever hear -- whether it's simply by pop standards or just on a purely, gut-wrenching emotional peak. His long-in-the-works solo debut, Bridge, is stripped-down but also lush in instrumentation on many tracks, several of which are reworked versions of older Cape tunes (five of which are from Lagwagon's most-recent EP, I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to Lagwagon).

Some of the Lagwagon songs done here acoustically work well (the jangly "No Little Pill" and marching drum anthem of "Mission Unaccomplished"), and then some just don't sound nearly as cohesive as their electric counterparts (the rather dull "Memoirs and Landmines"). After such a long wait, it would have been nice to include less tracks we have already heard, but really, it's a catch-22: it's nice hearing them in a new form, but you yearn for new songs to discover. In fact, the highlights found here are in old favorites redone for this release, such as "Canoe," a vocally-magnificent work of art with a final refrain courtesy of Cape's adorable daughter, Violet (who also contributes some of the album's artwork). "Recognize your reckoning," croons the lazy-voiced Cape, who barely registers above a loud whisper on many of the songs, recalling early Bob Dylan and Nebraska-era Springsteen in terms of pure emotional quality.

The yearning nostalgic feel of "The Ramones are Dead" see Cape more enthusiastic, recalling his youthful days of wonderment with a bit of hesitation: "But I can't listen to them now / Without mourning a small town / And the mom and pops I loved." Funny to think the man writing and singing these deeply personal pieces was the same guy who sang "Beer Goggles". In a song for his wife and daughter, "Who We've Become," Cape passionately sings with a bit of a smile "Everyone finds someone / Maybe I found you / Everyone finds someone / Baby I found two" -- sure, sounds a little cheesy to the average listener, but given the context, the song is a sweet lullaby from the bottom of Cape's heart. That sincerity gives Bridge a great scope of depth to manipulate the listener's ears with; at times, the acoustic sounds get repetitive, until you begin hearing Joey's words. It's important to hear what he says as the record goes along, because this isn't just some haphazardly thrown together album for the sake of someone's ego; Cape ensured these songs meant something to him, and to his fans as well.

By the time the closing track, "Home," finishes, we get a slight connection between the previously-released Lagwagon EP and this album, as it bursts into a feverish electric whirlwind with Cape singing, "The lights will line your way home / Can you see them?" Besides the already-released Lagwagon cuts, Bridge is undeniably a grower of a record. The more listens you give it, the more apparent it becomes that Cape is a brilliant musician, never talking down to his audience by recalling his career. He sings about life; the tragedies and the pitfalls, the love and the lost -- he sings poems from the heart, and it shows.

Seeing many of punk rock's heroes turn into soulful and endearing songwriters releasing quiet material is a bit perplexing at first, until you realize this genre and these bands are not throwaway types. Greg Graffin, Trever Keith, Joey Cape ... these are men who write intelligent, passionate songs over fast guitars and pulsating drums, and stripping it all down makes it more apparent they have massive amounts of talent to scatter upon the people.

This is hardly a Bridge to nowhere -- say thanks (not no thanks!) to this album, as it contains all the right pieces to a path worth crossing.

Recommended if You LikeJoey Cape/Tony Sly's Acoustic (Split EP); Greg Graffin's Cold as the Clay; Bad Astronaut's Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment; one of the greatest minds in music, period.
Choice Cuts"Canoe," "The Ramones Are Dead" and "Who We've Become"


Track Listing1. Errands
2. We're Not in Love Anymore
3. Canoe
4. B Side
5. Who We've Become
6. Memoirs and Landmines
7. The Ramones Are Dead
8. Non Sequiter
9. No Little Pill
10. Mission Unaccomplished
11. Gunt It. No, Don't
12. Home
Band MembersJoey Cape: vocals/guitars


Online VitalsOfficial Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 33
03:28 AM on 10/17/08
#2
Özgür Kurtoglu
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Yes, yes, yes! About damn time, Chris. I really like this album and it does really do the job. It really gives us who already love Lagwagon dearly insight of a side of things we normally don't get to see, even if hints of it has been given with the split with Tony Sly (Twenty Seven has inevitably become a constant staple when I very rarely play with the "band") and the last Bad Astronaut album. I live in the perfect part of world for this album to grow, with the shifting fall and cold, cold winter, so this album will just continue to grow and me, and I'm glad that it will.
03:30 AM on 10/17/08
#3
Chris Fallon
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Yes, yes, yes! About damn time, Chris. I really like this album and it does really do the job. It really gives us who already love Lagwagon dearly insight of a side of things we normally don't get to see, even if hints of it has been given with the split with Tony Sly (Twenty Seven has inevitably become a constant staple when I very rarely play with the "band") and the last Bad Astronaut album. I live in the perfect part of world for this album to grow, with the shifting fall and cold, cold winter, so this album will just continue to grow and me, and I'm glad that it will.
I'm glad it's growing on you, too -- autumn is by far the best time of the year for a release like this. It fits the feeling of change and growth, so it pleases me to know you hear what I'm saying man. What's your favorite song so far?
04:04 AM on 10/17/08
#4
Özgür Kurtoglu
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I'm glad it's growing on you, too -- autumn is by far the best time of the year for a release like this. It fits the feeling of change and growth, so it pleases me to know you hear what I'm saying man. What's your favorite song so far?

I'm not at all surprised that I agree with you on almost all points here, you seem to listen to an eerie amount of music that I enjoy alot, haha.

Sidenote: I just got my copy of the special edition of You Are My Sunshine and holy crap, it's fucking beautifully put together. This day has started in an awesome way now together with the Caper-stuff you brought to the table. Too band I'm stuck reviewing a Cult of Luna-show though, my mind is all clogged up, haha.

On the album, then. I found Canoe beautiful, and it is one of my favourites even though Violet's voice really jarred me at first because I got a promo that turned out to be faulty. Gun It, No Don't, The Ramones are Dead and Home are my favourites right now but it's easier to point out the songs I don't like than the opposite., haha.
04:10 AM on 10/17/08
#5
SwishMX48
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Good review, I actually had no clue he was releasing a solo album this year (I suck though). I loved the split album he did with tony sly, I'm getting this for sure.
04:13 AM on 10/17/08
#6
Chris Fallon
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I'm not at all surprised that I agree with you on almost all points here, you seem to listen to an eerie amount of music that I enjoy alot, haha.

Sidenote: I just got my copy of the special edition of You Are My Sunshine and holy crap, it's fucking beautifully put together. This day has started in an awesome way now together with the Caper-stuff you brought to the table. Too band I'm stuck reviewing a Cult of Luna-show though, my mind is all clogged up, haha.

On the album, then. I found Canoe beautiful, and it is one of my favourites even though Violet's voice really jarred me at first because I got a promo that turned out to be faulty. Gun It, No Don't, The Ramones are Dead and Home are my favourites right now but it's easier to point out the songs I don't like than the opposite., haha.
I know! I always count on you and a few select others to bask in the Lagwagon goodness though haha

I still need to buy Copeland -- I don't think it's 95% good, but still better than their last album, as far as I'm concerned. Eat Sleep Repeat wasn't bad, it just didn't stick with me for long. Too bad you have to review a lousy show haha

"Canoe" is easily my favorite -- I am in love with that song. Violet's part is cute and very charming. I could see how it'd throw you off, but I love the lyrics she reads -- innocent and precocious, yet quite intuitive for a child to read ya know? I'd say "Memoirs" is the only dud here; that track doesn't do much for me.
04:13 AM on 10/17/08
#7
Chris Fallon
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Good review, I actually had no clue he was releasing a solo album this year (I suck though). I loved the split album he did with tony sly, I'm getting this for sure.
If you loved the split, there's no doubt you will love this too!
04:40 AM on 10/17/08
#8
Özgür Kurtoglu
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I know! I always count on you and a few select others to bask in the Lagwagon goodness though haha

I still need to buy Copeland -- I don't think it's 95% good, but still better than their last album, as far as I'm concerned. Eat Sleep Repeat wasn't bad, it just didn't stick with me for long. Too bad you have to review a lousy show haha

"Canoe" is easily my favorite -- I am in love with that song. Violet's part is cute and very charming. I could see how it'd throw you off, but I love the lyrics she reads -- innocent and precocious, yet quite intuitive for a child to read ya know? I'd say "Memoirs" is the only dud here; that track doesn't do much for me.

Glad to be at your service Mr. Fallon, haha. I'm always glad to see Lagwagon get noticed or even mentioned on here. How they are so underrated I'll never quite understand given the success some lesser bands have and attention they get even on this site. Kinda bothers me, to be honest.

I really like You Are My Sunshine and the packaging really makes it even grander in my opinion. But I agree about the score. I have a hard time giving any of the albums I own a score of 95% so I can't give this album that either.

Haha...well, eventually Violet's part and the picture of her and Joey just really made me want to have a daughter too...so I guess that is a sign of it being really good, right? Non Sequitur doesn't do anything at all to me though, so that's my dud.

Oh, and Cult of Luna are a band I use as an inspiration when I write music, haha. It's definitely not for everyone but they are a fucking beast live. They're insanely heavy live, and I really like that when it's done by guys who dress "normally" and don't act like obnoxious rockstars or fall into the whole scene and dress weird because of it and all that junk.
07:32 AM on 10/17/08
#9
WhoSaidThat?
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Wasn't Joey your avatar at one point, Chris?
07:36 AM on 10/17/08
SmokieB.High
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Always been a fan of the lagwagon, bad astronaut, gimme gimme's et al

realy liked his last acoustic split

definatly gonna check this one out
07:43 AM on 10/17/08
berskyjr
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great review. Joey cape ftw. he knows how to rock and roll.
07:48 AM on 10/17/08
justinius23
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good review of an awesome record.

it's 'bona fide' as opposed to 'bonafied' though.
07:52 AM on 10/17/08
CellarGhosts
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Awesome review, Chris. Contender for my AOTY at the moment. It's a neck and neck race with a few other albums at this point.
09:03 AM on 10/17/08
AP_Punk
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Another good review for another good album.

Fallon rules.
10:19 AM on 10/17/08
mybreakingpoint
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I tohught this was going to be under the Afterburner moniker. Oh well, Joey Cape is a God, the man can do no wrong. I'll be picking this up ASAP.
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