High School; let’s just admit it, it was an awkward time. We didn’t know who the hell we were, or who we were going to become. We tried so desperately to be an adult while forgetting to live in the present.
That’s when good ol’ hindsight kicks in.
I can say for certain there are decisions I made and things I did way-back-when that I wish I could just omit from memory — like the time I snuck off with a girl to make-out and exhaled into her mouth.
She was obviously caught off guard and had a coughing fit. She killed the mood. I was excited and in turn out of breath because let’s be honest, how many opportunities does one get for secret kissing in high school? Two, maybe three?
I’m sure my chances would have been much better if I wasn’t the guy who was known for always wearing turtlenecks (both short and long-sleeved) with a gold watch which, coincidentally got caught in the same girl’s hair during our second smooching sesh the very next day.
It was a lose-lose situation as I took my arm from around her shoulders and ripped out some of her hair. She emitted an animalistic yelp while I pulled out strands of loose hair between the metal links of my sweet watch — this was no Casio.
She dumped me.
And like any heart broken teenager would, I found solace in music — a sort of therapy to help deal with this sudden, unforeseen break up.
I would listen to punk music which, let’s face it, in the mid to late 90s was so cool. Bands like Lagwagon, and No Use for a Name (NUFAN) were staples at parties and always blasted from cars cruising up and down the main-street.
Much like me, over the years these bands have evolved.
Punk legends Joey Cape (Lawagon) and Tony Sly (NUFAN) have continuously released new material, but haven’t forgotten their roots. With their new split album Acoustic Volume 2, we hear their classic punk songs stripped down to gratifying results.
The lyrics to most of these songs still remain relevant to this day. Like on Cape’s Know it All: It’s like certain bands remind of you someone you hated/Cause they didn’t wear the right clothing — is probably a direct quote to the people who made fun of my turtleneck wearing ways.
One of NUFAN’s greatest songs Soulmate sounds amazing with a gentle strum of the guitar accented with an accordion. Yes, an accordion.
There’s two brand new songs on there that show us that they still have the chops and talent to churn out a cleverly crafted tune.
If you’re looking for punk on this album, you might not find it.
These songs are softer than what you’re used from these guys, but this is a good thing. I can’t help but appreciate the fact that instead of getting frozen in time, these two artists know how to change with the times, while still appealing to their old sounds.
Whatever music you listened to in high school, this album deserves a listen. And now for some free advice while I reflect on my high school days: don’t wear a watch when you’re getting down with a girl — you’ll save yourself the awkward moment of getting it caught in her hair while maintaining the integrity of your time piece. Take a couple of deep breaths so you don’t inadvertently blow air into someone else’s lungs like a CPR dummy, as it can spoil the mood. And most importantly, turtlenecks are only good for one thing: covering up a hickey.