Sunday, March 2, 2008
Ink & Dagger - S/T
For all intents and purposes, I missed the boat on Ink & Dagger. Though I was around and actively attending shows during their existance, I didn't really "get" them until much later in my life. They were a little too weird, a little too chaotic, a little too 'dark.' I always listened to a broad range of music, but when I was 16 and it came to hardcore I either wanted Side By Side or All Out War and the theme of vampires, use of corpse paint, off-key singing and weird angular guitar riffs did not factor into either of those sub-categories. However, as I aged my appreciation for Ink & Dagger grew and I respect their honesty and creativity far more than what a lot of hardcore bands of that era did. They were vibrant and approached things with punk ideals, but took chances that most hardcore bands didn't for whatever reason.
On their final LP before vocalist Sean McCabe's untimely death, Ink & Dagger pushed themselves further away from their already untraditional take on hardcore into a blend of dream-pop, psych and noise only charted by San Diego experimentalists Antioch Arrow. The off-kilter riffs and McCabe's frantic singing style are still firmly intact, but much of what comprised their previous records is absent or subdued and replaced by waves of distortion and layers of delay, reverb and drum machine. It's a complex effort and though it was probably not widely heralded by those in the punk/hardcore community to begin with, I think it has aged quite well in the 8 years since it's release.
Ink & Dagger - s/t