Album Commentary: Can’t Hang’s ‘Ride the Lightrail’

Don’t let the Metallica-esque title cover confuse you, Can’t Hang is not a tribute band .

Amalgamating elements of punk, thrash, ska, rock and reggae, Can’t Hang feels like the best parts of bands like Sum 41, Sublime and Green Day and as a result, they find a style all their own. On this 12-track effort, there is not a throw-away track, as each song has its own flavor, making it not only a great album, but one you’ll want to listen to over and over.

This band, consisting of Luke Mysko [vocals], Steve Lynch, [guitars] Rob Eisenhut [bass] and Alex Crowley [drums] have been together for a decade, but make no mistake about it, if you haven’t heard of them yet, this album is a great introduction to their talent and ability.

Rock Tease: This instrumental song is exactly that, as it’s just a little over a minute and shows off the musicianship of Lynch, Eisenhut and Crowley and gets you geared up for the rest of the album. A great guitar riff powers this track, but the bass and drums rocks pretty damn hard as well.

Just For You: A track about a woman at a club, dancing to the music of the band, this song screams old school reggae meets Sublime. Catchy from start to finish, thanks to solid and free-flowing lyrics, Mysko’s singing and again, great musicianship from the rest of the band, this is easily the best song on the album. A track that will both cheer you up and get you ready for a night out on the town, it’s best played with someone by your side to groove with.

Wait a Minute: With a Blink-182-esque feeling in the beginning, once Mysko begins singing, the song has a ska/punk feel to it that you’ll fall in love with. Infectious lyrics, hypnotizing drums and great supporting guitar and bass make this another fun track that you’ll want to listen to over and over again.

95: Lynch’s favorite song on the album, this track has almost a Rascal Flatts feel to it. Mysko absolutely makes this piece a winner, as he flows through the lyrics like water. Add in horns that slow things down a bit and you have a ska staple that begs for you to listen.

Smile: It starts off rough, but with the addition of the keyboard and the Jamaican-styled changes Lysko makes to his voice, this piece feels like a tribute to Bob Marley and the Wailers. Again, the musicianship is solid as everything flows into each other and Lysko and Lynch steal the show with great singing and a nifty as hell guitar solo.

Don’t Exist: This song feels like “I Shot the Sheriff,” but with more fire. The hook is so snazzy it’ll end up as a Facebook status update if you listen to it a few times. Showing off their hard rock/alternative roots through the first thirty seconds, the song morphs into a ska/punk classic that ends up being the most eclectic song on the album.

They Don’t Sell Beer in Victorville: Punk personified, this song deviates from the formula many of the other songs follow, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. Written after a bad gig, it’s an anthem for any upcoming band that has had their share of rotten experiences on the road. Showing the band can play any type of style, Can’t Hang shows they can do punk just as good as ska. No easy task at all.

Tour: The hardest song on the album, this track proves the band can thrash and that Crowley is one heck of a drummer and Eisenhut’s fingers must have been stolen from the Flash. Lysko’s vocals are at their weakest here, as the song doesn’t exactly suit his style, but he still pulls it off and with another molten-hot solo from Lynch, this song ends up working.

Strangers at Your Funeral: A great track that is powered by an excellent hook, Lysko’s singing and cool guitar effects by Lynch. Simply put, the lyrics here are smooth, but also thought-provoking-“Why would I die, if I could fly?” With stellar drumming as well, this piece is another reggae/ska staple that gives the album even more depth.

Fish Eye: Sweet-sounding guitar and the type of drumming that would want you to go learn the instrument power this tune that Lysko again shows his ability, going from a reggae singer to rap/rocker.

Victim Song: The weakest song on the album, it’s still solid thanks to fantastic drumming and a guitar line that by itself is super cool. Good lyrics help the cause as well, even though Lysko’s voice sounds a bit different on this one, wanting you to listen to one of his better tracks on the CD.

Ride the Lightrail:There’s a ton of energy on this track, but despite that, it also, is not one of the best songs on the album. All the components are there musically, but lyrically it doesn’t resonate the same passion as tracks like “95,” “Just for You,” and “Wait a Minute.”

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About Patrick Hickey Jr. 10085 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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