Listen to the second single from Vaguess off their forthcoming album ‘Guilt Ring’ (March 3) via Sinderlyn.
At just under a minute and a half, “Can’t Hang” feels like an instant classic— the kind of jam you want to slap in the tape deck while driving down PCH on a summer day. What starts out with playful surf-soaked riffs, ends up turning into a twisted, garage punk sing-along led by vocalist/guitarist Vinny Vaguess. For all its fun-under-the-sun Cali vibes, “Can’t Hang” is about someone losing their shit over an addiction to cheap drugs, yet any tone of uneasiness is powdered over with a catchy Ramones-style bop and some 70s solo work to cap it off.
The bleak, opening lyrics – “can’t hang, but who’s to blame / you spent all your money, on cheap cocaine” – feel like one-liners pulled out of a forgotten Raymond Pettibon sketchbook. It’s not without coincidence that Vaguess, like Pettibon, shares a penchant for devising a specific cocktail of dark humor and dry wit, one that evokes a disillusionment with society and the cultural norms of having to grow up (and still live) in a small SoCal beach community where a ‘surf’s up’ mentality reigns. In many ways, it just gets harder and harder to hang.
‘Guilt Ring’ also has a rare California DIY punk stamp of approval for a release coming out of Orange County in today’s current climate, with contributions on drums from Miles Lutrell (Useless Eaters/Scraper) and recorded by Kyle Day (Beekeepers/Cough Syrup Kids) at The Grassy Null studio all the way up in Oakland. You don’t see that everyday.
Stream “Can’t Hang” by Vaguess below.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Guilt Ring’ on wax/tape straight from Sinderlyn here.