Daggermouth's 2005 release, Stallone was a really solid record. For me, the band came along at a time when no new bands were really catching on with me. I was hooked on Stallone from the start and I've been riding the hype train with The 'Mouth ever since. Turf Wars was certainly a long time in the making, but I have to say it was worth the wait.
The album kicks off with "Abracadabra, Holmes" which finds Daggermouth displaying a more aggressive sound than anything you could find on the band's previous releases. The band really seems to nail down an almost Pulley-esque sound at times, melding 90's skatepunk with the 00's poppy style of hardcore that is ever so popular. Songs like "Glendale P.D. Hates Daggermouth," "Fact Mike Peecher Rollerblades," and "Too Late, No Friends" stick to this more intense style that Daggermouth have crafted with pounding drums and relentless riffs. Another notable difference in sound this go-around is the bass. Stallone kept with a looser bass sound, while Turf Wars is incredibly tight sounding, not just in the bass, but also all around. Daggermouth has done an extensive amount of touring in between their two LP's, and you can tell it's paid off, sonically.
Fans of Daggermouth's more pop flavored tracks; fear not. "Hey Nelson, Go Jump on the Garbage," "Hawt Lixx," and "This is Chase Brenneman" sound like a natural progression from the last record, without deviating too much from the sound that made the band so popular in the punk and hardcore community. These tracks are just as tight as the more aggressive songs, without forsaking anything in the "bouncy, super melodic fun pop-punk" department. These songs are Daggermouth doing what they do best.
Lyrically the record takes on a wide variety of topics in comparison to the last record. "Frisky Business" and "You Do This as a Fad, I Do This as a Lifestyle" are quite emotional tracks. "Frisky Business" leads off with singer Nick Leadey apologizing for all the things he's done to screw up a relationship, although it's vague enough to apply not just to an estranged girlfriend, but to any friends that might have been hurt throughout a friendship. One line that hits particularly hard comes about halfway through the song when Leadey yells "I held you in my arms as you cried, and you looked at me and said 'Nick I want to die.'"
The album's closer, "You Do This as a Fad, I Do This as a Lifestyle" is equally touching; expressing so much disgust and hatred for the loss of a close friend, murdered by her recently wed husband. If you've ever lost someone in your life, to any sort of atrocious act, I can't begin to imagine how hard this song would hit home. Even if you've never experienced something this tragic (and I hope none of you have,) the song is still extremely haunting, and forces you to feel exactly what Leadey seemed to feel when he penned the lyrics for this song.
Daggermouth have definitely topped themselves. While Stallonewas a solid record full of pop-punk gems, Turf Wars takes everything great about that first record, and amplifies it. While comparisons to any number of scene-mates are inevitable, Daggermouth are certainly talented enough to rise above that.
8.8 / 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 ...
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.