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Joey Cape | Tony Sly | Acoustic | review | alternative | Lollipop
Joey Cape/Tony Sly
by Tim Den
Given the surge of "punk goes acoustic" bullshit these past few years, I must say I wasn't sure if an unplugged split between two of pop punk's finest frontmen was the best idea in the world. But, as always, Joe Cape (of Lagwagon) and Tony Sly (of No Use For A Name) pull through despite the Dashboard stigma, offering up five catalog numbers and a newbie each, reinterpreting as well as reaffirming the strength of their melodic output.
Both songsmiths strip away velocity and technicality in exchange for brooding tempos and a myriad of instruments - piano, mandolin, cellos, banjos, vibes - with Cape being the more adventurous recomposer. Beloved classics such as "Justified Black Eye," "On the Outside," and "Violins" all transform into somber, existential pop poetry. Hopefully, deaf fucks who couldn't hear past the original versions' speed will finally hear their timeless beauty. Special kudos to Cape, who was able to turn hardly-acousticable numbers like "Move the Car" and "Tragic Vision" into engorged pieces of melancholy goodness.
Not only have these two provided us with pop punk's richest tunes over the years, they've proven their adaptability and - more importantly - the adaptability of their poignant works with Acoustic. I've said it in every Lagwagon and NUFAN review, and I'll keep saying it til I die: These are some of the best songs you'll ever hear. And the fact that they can be fast, technical, slow, pretty, angry, and everything in between means that they are better than the heap of shit you call your music collection.