Double Dagger's latest and final album 333 comes alongside a curtain call documentary, If We Shout Loud Enough, that portrays the band at their end and their position within the Baltimoor music scene. With Shut Up And Play The Hits it seems like LCD may have created a new micro-genre - the rock band break-up movie.
SUAPTH focused on the simultaneous, somewhat divergent parallels of the impact the band (and its demise) had on its fans and the impact on the band itself - celebratory and sad but cathartic in the release that splitting up brings. Tears are shed, but good times celebrated.
In contrast If We Shout Loud Enough is messier, the lines between fans are blurred here on screen, with local musicians within Baltimoor acting as mutual fans and a close-knit community forming around the group. It reflects a starck physical reality where lead singer Nolen Strals jumps off of the foot high stage at whatever small to medium venue they are playing at and mingles within the crowd, shouting at the crowd and tying them up in the knots of his microphone cable: physically tearing down the boundaries.
Where SUAPTH had catharsis in the ending of something, If We Shout Loud Enough clearly portrays a band for whom the music itself, especially the playing of it live, IS the catharthis. Playing live grinds some bands down and ages its individual members, but does the opposite here.
Strals suffers with a stutter and struggles to get his words out in person, yet on record and in concert rattles through songs and announcements with precision. It's something that has been tackled lyrically within Double Dagger's music, as are his flashbacks to an early concert that was preceded by a particularly gruesome experience, and here within the film.
What comes through in the music on this album, and even more with the documentary, is that the rage exposed through Double Dagger's music releases something. It seems to help, creating distance between Strals and these topics whilst also acting as a catalyst to the listeners, who simultaneously address their own demons.
333 has elements where it sounds like the wound soothed. It may start with the intense, punctuated aggression of The Mirror, a record dealing with the aforementioned stuttering, but there is more range here than on any previous release.
Just 25-minutes in length, 333 is almost too short to be even a mini-album, with three tracks clocking in at under 3-minutes. Two instrumentals, Space Dust and Figure Eights feel content and almost playful. It's like an experimental last session rather than an album.
What it lacks in drama and stature in structure 333 closes with Heretic's Hymn, and it comes through on that record how the band have grown over the course of their career, reassured and rewarded by the feedback of years of intimate gigs.
The film and record are a fitting tribute to the end of an incredibly spirited group, highlighting what being in a band has done for those within it and those that loved them. It will be sad to see Double Dagger's great release end, but exciting to see what the members do next.
Both 333 and If We Shout Loud Enough are out now in a combined release, you can order it now on Amazon.co.uk [affiliate link]. Check out the trailer for If We Shout Loud Enough below: