Double Dagger – Masks EP

My Rating: 9/10
Genre/ Tags: Post-Punk, Noise Rock, Drum & Bass

Last we heard from Baltimore’s own Double Dagger, it was their latest full length record “MORE” that was put out by Thrill Jockey back in 2009. Now, in 2010, Double Dagger have a new EP for us, and it’s best described as a continuation of songs from their “MORE” LP. The EP features 5 new and unheard Double Dagger tracks that’s just shy of 19 minutes long, and its sound is just as ragged, angry, raw, and discontented as the songs from their “MORE” LP.

The EP kicks off with a bang on the first track “Imitation Is the Most Boring Form of Flattery”, which sounds like the Double Dagger sound you’re already quite comfortable with. Vocalist Nolen Strals warns us immediately that “We’re all in danger! Our history has no future, don’t be just another repeater”, referring to the state that our nation is in, claiming that it’s in an “unhealthy” state and everywhere he looks, “everyone is just spewing”. Somebody is definitely upset with that current status of our nation, and that is quite clear when reading the lyrics to this one. Strals goes on to say that “You don’t see the past as a source of inspiration, you just have it set as your final destination” which calls out anybody who tends to live in the past. We all know living in the past is fun, but it can also be unhealthy. The other song on the A-side of the record is “Pillow Talk”, which comes with a nice bass solo about 1 minute and 25 seconds in, while the rest of the track includes Strals singing about gross/weird encounters of his friends sexual mishaps that don’t quite leave you with the idea of a pretty sight. Next up is the strangely titled “Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing”, which might generate a funny picture or two in your head. This song makes me wonder how on Earth this band gets by with just a drummer and a bassist. Some of the sounds that come out on this track sound like everything but a bass guitar, but that minimalistic property is all part of the deal when it comes to Double Dagger. This goes on to make me wonder how these guys perform live. I guess I’ll just have to wait until May 3rd.

Flipping over to the B-side starts with the longest track included on the EP, “Sleeping With the TV On”. It’s just under 7 minutes long, and it starts out way too slow to be a Double Dagger song. Strals comes in with “When you live two lives, which is your own? When you live two lives, where do you call home…” while the song begins to speed up and take form. Before you know it, you’re again in familiar Double Dagger territory during the 2nd minute, and this time Strals is giving us insight into his dreams at night… “All my dreams look like TV shows, they’re full of stars that everyone knows, my life is like a secret episode, it’s full of plots that never unfold.” It sounds like somebody is looking for a bit of a change. Not only is a major change in order, but something must be done about all the “past-due bills”, “jacked-up rent”, and the fact that the taxman is coming because he wants “us to pay for what we’ve spent”. These are certainly all pressing issues that should be dealt with as soon as possible. This would bring us to our last track, the instrumental and most relaxed song found on the EP, “Song for S”, which is just an easy flowing bass line on top of some crazy industrial-sounding sound effects. All in all, this is definitely a solid effort from a solid band who I hope to hear more from very soon. May 3rd won’t come soon enough! Thanks for reading friends, and be sure to check back tomorrow. I’ll hopefully be making it to the JAPANDROIDS show at the Barbary tonight…

Tracklist: Masks EP
1.) Imitation Is the Most Boring Form of Flattery
2.) Pillow Talk
3.) Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing
4.) Sleeping With the TV On
5.) Song for S

BUY the new Masks EP directly from Thrill Jockey
MORE Review previously posted on the Styrofoam Drone
Double Dagger on Myspace

2 thoughts on “Double Dagger – Masks EP

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