239 1500


Thrill Jockey
thrill 239 - 2010

Double Dagger does not make “background music.” The Baltimore trio’s songs are meant to be experienced, rather than just listened to—either at one of their intense performances or with the volume turned up loud enough to feel it in your gut.

Masks packaging designed by Double Dagger members Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen’s design studio Post Typography.

The LP and CD each come in three different covers, all with custom die-cut jackets printed as different mask drawings with “eyes” that change color depending on the orientation of the CD or LP sleeve.

Purchase the CD on it's own and get a randomly selected cover OR purchase the 3xCD BUNDLE and get all three different covers at a super discounted price!

Double Dagger embodies the contradictions of the fair-yet-blighted city they call home—visceral, raw, cacophonously loud, yet with unexpected moments of clarity, humor, and revelation. Live, Double Dagger’s stripped-down musical line-up, consisting solely of bass, drums, and vocals, somehow manages to sound like a stage-full of musicians. Drummer Denny Bowen hammers the drums with such force that bassist Bruce Willen must employ four amps to match his volume. Singer Nolen Strals wades into, out of, and sometimes on top of the audience, channeling a dynamic energy that often has the three musicians dripping with sweat by the second song.

Music reviewers have compared Double Dagger to (in alphabetical order) Antelope, At The Drive In, Big Black, Black Dice, Black Eyes, Black Flag, Broken Social Scene, Butthole Surfers, The Buzzcocks, Cop Shoot Cop, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, Death From Above, The Death Set, Dischord Records, The Dismemberment Plan, Dylan Thomas, Explosions In The Sky, The Fall, The For Carnation, Fucked Up, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Green Day, Happy Mondays, Health, Henry Rollins, The Hold Steady, Hüsker Dü, Japandroids, Japanther, Jesus Lizard, Joy Division, June of ’44, Karp, Led Zeppelin, Les Savy Fav, Liars, Lightning Bolt, Lungfish, Manic Street Preachers, Mika Miko, Minor Threat, The Minutemen, Mission Of Burma, Mudhoney, The New Flesh, New Order, Nirvana, No Age, No Trend, Parts & Labor, Pavement, The Pixies, Ponytail, Presidents of the United States of America, Q And Not U, The Ramones, Rites of Spring, Sebadoh, Shellac, Six Finger Satellite, Sonic Youth, Steve Reich, Stiff Little Fingers, Suicidal Tendencies, Swell Maps, The Talking Heads, Unwound, Volcano Suns, Weezer, The White Stripes, Wilderness, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others.

While this description is generally apt, Double Dagger continues to push the boundaries of what some critics have dubbed agit punk, angry pop, art punk, art rock, DIY, future shock, genre bending, genre defying, grunge, hardcore, heavy metal, In Utero-era noise, indie, indie rock, left field rock-n-roll, math-rock, metal, metallic funk, minimalist punk, minimalism, no wave, noise, noisy pop, political pop, political punk, pop punk, pop/punk, post-grunge, post-hardcore, post-pop, postpunk, post-punk, post-rock, punk rock in the purist form, punk, quasi-punk, rock, thrash, unclassifiable, or underground music.

Double Dagger’s new EP, Masks, continues in this vein, taking up where their acclaimed 2009 full length, More, left off. Masks presents a series of vignettes, ranging from acerbic to facetious to self-reflective, on the facades we build within our lives. Masks contains some of Double Dagger’s most catchy songs to date, yet characteristically the tone of the album encompasses the abrasive and sarcastic as well as the upbeat and closes with a surprisingly delicate instrumental. The EP was recorded by the band using a necessarily DIY setup, and like More, manages to capture the loudness and energy of Double Dagger’s explosive live performances.



  • 1 Imitation Is The Most Boring Form Of Flattery
  • 2 Pillow Talk
  • 3 Sheep In Wolf's Clothing
  • 4 Sleeping With The TV On
  • 5 Song For S

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