Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Post-Punk Pandemonium

On Friday night, Double Dagger thundered from the walls of the Rock & Roll Hotel like an unexpected electrical storm. Immediately after the Baltimore trio took the stage, lead singer Nolen Strals sparked the crowd by grabbing his crotch as he screamed out his first track. Lumbering through the audience like the eyeless daemon from Pan's Labyrinth, Strals screamed into the faces of any scenester who stood in his path. "Let's build more condos," crooned the swaying Strals. "We're not building a city, we're building a ghost town."

The coarse rage of this group echoed from the nauseating sweat of some dark urban basement where they scowled at the rising shit-glimmer of gentrification. At some point in the fourth song Strals walked up to this writer and head butted my forehead. The swift impact of his skull to mine was enough to thrash around my cobwebbed memories of what the D.C. hardcore scene once was. Suddenly, I had the feeling that this group could be the finest example of searing mid-Atlantic disaffection in this, our most recent republican era. With only two musicians and a vocalist, the over driven bass and drums filled the air with fast, grungy beats and sweeping seductive lulls.

After the show, Double Dagger's bassist, Bruce Willen, told me that they had unsuccessfully searched for a guitarist for the past five years. But the raging sounds that came from Willen's bass and Dennis Bowen's drums, made a good argument for the idiom "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Though, by the sound of it, this crew has plenty of breaking left to do.

The Psychic



Blogger Greg Szeto said...

you neglected to comment on how tame the crowd was. it was just shameful how unresponsive most people at RnR were to DD's great performance, even unsettled. god forbid an artist acknowledge the audience and interact with them.

things livened up a bit for headliners Imperial China, but the energy of the crowd was so flat it didnt matter. this show would have been bonkers in baltimore. dc crowds are going down the tubes.

Thursday, April 24, 2008  

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