The Visitor – Cigar
Cigar has been around the scene for quite some time, although The Visitor is their sophomore release. Formed in ’96 they released their first album in ’99. Since then it’s been relatively quiet from the band, except for some reunions in ’13 and ’16. The Visitor is released following a line-up change where founding-member Jason left the band to focus on his family, and was replaced by bassist Jonathan.
I’ve never come across Cigar before, even though their style of music was some of the first I got into, although with a more Swedish-focus. Cigar plays the kind of skatepunk that was really common during the 90’s and early 00’s. It’s fast and straight forward, heavily guitarr-focused music as heard from bands like Satanic Surfers, Venerea and Lagwagon to mention a few.
The first couple of tracks are solid skatepunk-pieces, but it’s on the third track We Used To that I really get what this band is capable of. Super-melodic and well written, and an obvious choice as the first single from the album. Lots of energy an nice start-and-stops. That’s the standout track to me on this album, but there are several other songs that catches the attention nicely, especially in the later half. Songs like Classic You, Forget About Me and Move On are really melodic pieces and a strong finish of the album.
It’s a fast paced album throughout, seldom slowing down to catch breath. Throughout the record the band leans toward the pop-punk end of the spectra, for example on the track Forget About Me and the chorus of Move On, to more towards hardcore on track Legacy of the 7 Plies, but always with the feet firmly planted in the skatepunk-sound.
Lyrically it shows that this is people who have been around for a bit. It’s definitely a more mature theme throughout the album, which is not strange considering how long they’ve been around, and it probably suits their old fans who are in their middle age now as well. It’s more towards the introspective and relationships end of the spectrum rather than the political, but I kind of wish for some more diversity in the lyrical themes sometimes. With that said, it’s still well written lyrics that suits the music in a good way and that are relatable for a lot of people
This is an album which will be right down the alley for any skatepunk-fan. For myself, it felt a bit too much of the same first couple of listenings, but many tracks have grown on me after a while. It’s well played all the way through, but sometimes I wish for a bit of a change in the pacing and the songs are pretty long being the kind of music it is. I don’t know how the heck these guys are gonna be able to have the stamina for a full live-set with the length and frenetic energy of these tracks, gotta be a bunch of athletes.
With that said, Cigar is a band that has mastered their genre, and I’m sure fans of the band, or the genre in general, won’t be disappointed with The Visitor. Let’s hope for some shorter lead-time to their next release.