Double Dagger

Double Dagger

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Baltimore freaks Double Dagger get it off their chests quick. "I went to your party/I was so bored," Nolen Strals drones in the opener to his band's self-titled debut. "I wanted to hang myself/On the dancefloor." He chirps and screams some more, this occurring over the trio's scratchy bang-up of drums and distorted bass guitar. But he really only needs the first couplet to introduce the Double Dagger mission statement. Boiled down, it's the punk ethos repositioning the little guy as a diode on the enormous circuit board of corporate America. "I'm going to dance while I'm here," he's saying -- and plenty of DD's stripped-down squelch is certainly good for that -- "but it doesn't matter if I do or don't because big business will hang us anyway." "Corporate Logo Preservation Society" is one such danceable tune, with a loose-stringed bass spattering hardcore-derived riffs over the verse's bouncy traditionalism and drums bashing away for extra static. Unfortunately, as with most of Double Dagger, the intellectualism goes only as far as the fabulous song title, since so much of Strals' yammering is unintelligible. You can tell he's pissed or doesn't care, but that's about it. "Punk Rock vs. Swiss Modernism," "My Dad Has a Theory That the Internet Is the Roman Coliseum of Our Times," "You're Getting Paid to Make My Life Harder" -- the collective effect is like Fugazi with a quarter of its members and "whatever" generation cynicism having replaced any shred of idealism. This sure makes for some heartless music, but indie rockers only need feet and some beer to dance.

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