Railer albeit short, is a great example of what is gold never dies, ironically showing us that punk rock is far from dead, past its peak. Most tracks here fall around the two and a half minute mark (which is common place for this genre) but each song is so carefully crafted that it feels like an epic lengthy masterpiece crashing through the airwaves.
Lagwagon are a band affiliated with fast riffs, fast drum beats and a punk rock sensibility you only find in the pioneers of the genre. As soon as the first chord of Railer is struck, reminders of Nofx, Bad Religion, and The Offspring ring through the overtones like an atomic bomb.
It is only by 'Parable' that a chance of respite is allowed with its acoustic stripped back introduction, which of course follows crashing drum fills into a more classic Lagwagon assault. It is clear that the direction of the band never needs to change for them to be punk front runners. This has perhaps never been emphasised quite as much previously as it has throughout Railer, where Lagwagon seem to have made a point to revisit old styles of writing and musicianship.
Stand out 'Bubble' is coincidentally one of the longer tracks on the album and features everything that is great about the punks as a whole. Fast paced drum patterns alongside galloping chord progressions with riff like bass lines that mesh together so well. The cherry on top being the vocal lines, catchy as ever with fantastic lyricism.
'The Suffering' is also a notable entry itself, as it brings with it the powerful emotions and conveyance that you could only describe as being Lagwagon's 'Jesus of Suburbia'. However it never detracts from being straight punk rock all the way to the end, unlike the aforementioned Green Day pop punk powerhouse entry. It's a track that withholds a lot of substance, which is engulfed through the vocal performance and shows us the range at which Lagwagon can write and perform, seemingly with no bounds.
Railer is a strong punk rock extravaganza that harbours back to previous albums and builds upon a twenty year legacy that Lagwagon have created. It does a fine job of being a stylistic fit for those already familiar with punk rock's potency, and an ideal place for someone who's looking to jump on the bandwagon to get involved.