Cloak/Dagger – Lost Art
Record Label: Jade Tree Records
Release Date: November 3, 2009
Cloak/Dagger are some bastards. Their fuzzy, often hypnotic take on mid-90’s punk rock is unabashed in every way. They’ve created a fairly straightforward record that retains an experimental aftertaste, but whatever it is that they are, Cloak/Dagger are it to the extreme. And that makes them bastards I respect.
How Is It?
Well I mean, “Broken Wrists” sounds a lot like “Same Old Story” and also “Billions Millions” in that they need but two minutes to invade our brain space with shouted, catchy choruses and tweaking guitar riffs. But when you have something so memorable in common, does it really matter that the formula seems repetitious? That just sounds like smart business to me. Jason Mazzola’s frantic vocals bring his self-reflective lyrics to light in impressive fashion: “One more year has passed me by / And I feel no different / But something’s changed,” from “In My Orbit,” comes slathered in grunge over guitars clearly influenced by bee stingers. Basically it’s all fast, hazy and lots of fun. An accessible punk rock record isn’t the norm these days, especially if it can appeal to actual punks and us lovelorn pansies. Something for everyone has never been punk's motto, but in these dudes' hands, or at least on Lost Art, it very well may be.
Recommended If You Like: Hot Snakes, Circle Jerks, gobs, Striking Distance, mobs, other bands that I've never heard of listed on the band's allmusic page
I liked their last album We Are quite a lot. I didn't actually know this was coming out. After listening, I'd say if Gallows' Orchestra of Wolves and Superchunk's No Pocky for Kitty sat at opposite ends of a spectrum, this would sit smack in the middle. Well, that's what my Captain Morgan-soaked brain thinks, anyhow.
I was just listening to their other album, We Are, the other day, and I was reminded of the same. This is what The Bronx would sound like if they were a little more "underground" and if they were produced by less-experienced engineers.