double dagger

Album Review / MP3: More - Double Dagger

BlackPlastic doesn't really like 'metal' anymore. Maybe once, but not anymore.

Some records, however, get lumped into this genre and yet transcend them. Test Icicles violent punk metal may have taken inspiration from metal bands but it also took inspiration from grime and disco. Similarly, Death From Above 1979's only album often got classed as metal but it did much more.

The same is true of Double Dagger's latest album, More.  Double Dagger's third album, it was created in an abandoned office on the fifth floor of a building housing Baltimore's Current Gallery (an artist run gallery and studio space). With everything above the third floor in a state of disrepair the band had to run cables out of the windows and down to the lower floors to power their mics and instruments and they relied on ceiling tiles and cubicle dividers to create soundproofing whilst the band's drummer, Denny Bowen, set up the drums in a separate room but then knocked a hole through the wall so the band could still see each other.

Less than glamorous the conditions may have been but they did enable a longer recording time and, with the inclusion of a few cheap microphones, gave the recording a fantastically rough and distorted sound. Combining metal with the stripped back minimalist percussion and basslines of early post-punk, the experimentalism of the Pixies and vocals that sound like Hold Steady's Craig Finn on a rampage, Double Dagger are the hardcore metal band BlackPlastic can like.

And that's because beyond the initial abrasiveness there is an ear for melody that transforms these songs. Just check the chorus of 'No Allies' - the vocals may try and shout you down but the hooks are irrestibly catchy. There's a lovely clash of sounds on this album and it's like listening to a metal album made by someone who just can't help but make catchy tunes - again this is demonstrated perfectly by the spoken intro and punchy chorus of 'The Lie/The Truth'.

Don't be put off by the shouts and the labels. A single listen to More proves that Double Dagger have made an album that achieves much more than anything by any band concerned with genres could - it might be hardcore, it might be noisy pop... BlackPlastic doesn't care, it's just awesome.

We have a copy of 'The Lie/The Truth' available to download here (right click, save as) - if you like it check out the album. More is released on 3 May on Thrill Jockey. Pre-order from on CD or LP .

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