I’ve never been the most timely of individuals or the most hip or happening chap and it often takes me far longer than most of the switched on folks to catch up to whatever it is that’s going on around me. Which is probably why I’ve completely missed out on the whole punk rock singers travelling down a different musical, and mostly acoustic, path in order to explore their more heartfelt ideas and in an effort to stretch themselves as songwriters.
Joey Cape, who’s dual day jobs are fronting punk rock behemoths Lagwagon and whipping up a six string frenzy in Me Fist and The Gimme Gimme’s, one of the leading exponents and founding fathers of the frontman turned punk rock troubadour movement, is about to unleash his fifth solo album Let Me Know. Even though it’s album number five for Joey, it’s the first of his solo records that I’ve actually managed to spend any time with, and honestly, I’m impressed. I’m very, very impressed.
I don’t know whether it’s the fact that it’s taken me until now to catch up or whether I’m older and more open to experiencing new things or a combination of both of those things, but Let Me Know When You Give Up has hit me, as the kids like to say, straight in the feels. An immediate record that’s soaked in raw emotion and honesty, Let Me Know When You Give Up allows Joey’s incredible voice to take centre stage and shine and while it sounds like Lagwagon with the amplifiers turned way down, it also has its own sense of identity that dwells somewhere in the middle of the strange wilderness that exists between Neil Diamond, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen’s quieter moments. I may be late, but I always get there in the end and with a little help from Joey Cape and the magnificent Let Me Know When You Give Up, I’ll be hanging around until the party finishes, the lights are switched off and everyone else has left for pastures new… Tim Cundle