Recently I was talking with (read: bitching to) my friend Brian about how there hasn't been any new bands lately that have really caught me and pulled me in. Granted, there have been many bands I've really gotten into over the last year or so, but none of them really caught my ear and made me love them. It's not that the scene has gotten stale, because it hasn't. At times there might seem to be a lack of creativity, but just under the radar, there's always a few bands making a rumble in the underground, slowly building a strong and loyal fanbase. A few months ago, the cure to that which ails me made its presence known in my life.
Daggermouth is a five piece pop-punk/melodic hardcore band from Canada. The band incorporates the best of both aforementioned music worlds in that they deliver great pop-punk songs with an edge akin to earlier The Movielife or, at times, a more melodic Stretch Arm Strong. Previously the band had released the Behold the Might EP, containing four songs, three of which are re-recorded for Stallone. The self-released EP was raw, but showed the band's promise, and their overall ability to create great music.
The album's opener, "Steveston Mike can Mosh to This Anyday!" kicks off with shouts of "Ain't no party like a Daggermouth party, cuz a Daggermouth party don't stop!" This party really doesn't stop, or at least not for thirty-three minutes and fifty-three seconds.
One of the more special aspects of this album is Nick Leaday's lyrics. "As I stand here before your grave, I know my life has changed, What else can I say, you were like a father to me. " from "Sing it Again, Rookie Biatch!" touches on a theme of loss, and as you go further on into the lyrics of this song and others, the words become just as, if not more personal. As for Leadey's vocals? Don't try to test this kid. He could go toe to toe with singers like The Movielife/I am the Avalanche's Vinnie Caruana any day. Leaday tends to stick to a melodic vocal style, while the band occasionally branches out with shouted backup vocals. A good example of this can be heard on "Wrestlemania 5: Hulk Hogan vs. Macho Man...Winner Gets Miss Elizabeth's Love." The song features guest vocals from former Reserve 34 frontman Matt Smith, who eerily resembles Ensign's Tim Shaw.
Musically, Daggermouth know exactly where they plan to go with their sound, and they drive their point home. What may come to be Daggermouth's "signature" style of guitar work can be heard in songs such as "Vegas Chaffe, Brutha I got it too," which kicks off with very distinctive guitar riffs that will etch themselves into your brain. In addition, the band has learned to cherish the art form of the breakdown. You don't need one in every song on your record. When you place them in justthe right spot, they can make a world of difference to a song. The drumming on Stallone is tight and flows effortlessly between the band's more aggressive material and the simple-yet-effective pop punk that the band has turned into an absolute art form.
If you're desperately searching for that band that grabs you and doesn't let go, Daggermouth may just be the band for you. Maybe they can't fix the busted radiator on your car, odds are they can't pay your school tuition, and they may not save your life either. But that doesn't matter, because at least for a little while, they'll definitely help you forget about all of that.
8.5 / 10
Posted May 25, 2004, 5:46 p.m.
August 21/22 at the Che Cafe in San Diego, California the annual Che Fest will be occurring once more. Confirmed bands so far: Cut The Shit, The Rites, Give ...
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