DAGS! – S/T

artist: DAGS!
title: S/T
format: 12” vinyl
keywords: emo, Italian, punk rock, shoegaze, tropical, alternative, indie, math rock, post hardcore, punk, punk rock
labels: To Lose La Track / Neat is Murder records
reviewer: Willem van O.

Its weekend, time to go through the stockpile of requests. One of the latest one is by this band called ‘DAGS!’ who let us know that they would be so happy if we would spend 16 minutes of our time listening to their latest release. You can find a link at the bottom of this post so we can listen to this socially together. Are you ready?

The session starts with (as you could hear for yourself if you weren’t being such a brat by not clicking on that link so we can hear the record together) a song named ‘I don’t know if you understand my Analogy,
But it’s the clearest one I can make’.

I think it’s a nice long title although I can’t seem to understand any of the words that the singer is saying.
I know it must be English but there is no way for me to hear what it is about. Perhaps the music is overruling the vocals, or it’s me being the stupid clue less foreigner, or perhaps there is water in my ear? How does it sound over there? Any better?

I mean in all honesty, it isn’t that important to understand the words of the singer as the music kind of speaks on its own, right? And in that case I can understand this track pretty well. It starts slow like an introduction and then moves on to put the layer of sauce on the sausages. A thick creamy sauce that could be found on Screamo rock guitar kind of menus..

Let’s move on before things get too cryptic! The second track is called ‘I have seen the truth, and it doesn’t make sense’. A strong title in my opinion, and how does the music taste like? Well it’s pretty strong too, strong like a short shot of hot tropical Italian liquor’. There are some clapping helping hands, some nice background vocals and basically it’s just one of these moments that you get to encounter mostly when something big is going to happen.

Your rent should not exceed a week of your monthly wages’ is another smart ass title by this Italian trio from Milan. This time I read along with the lyrics which makes the song more understandable for my eyes and ears. But than again it’s better to just sometimes forget about words and meanings and just listen to the music as music. I hope that my honesty is appreciated over here but the math rock style in the beginning came across a bit forced, but when the band goes more into the track it all sounds more like they are loosening up and are more free sounding to make good music instead of calculating to much while juggling with the words to fit.

The music really gets a nice vibe and has some surprising musical elements that makes this band different than your average band that occupies the self described genre of emo/shoegaze/math/tropical/whatever.. The ending is almost like listening to an unexpected appearance of a warm orchestra that hit some warm tones to say ‘hi!’ to a sunny sun up in the sky.

The band continuous with pushing the trend of long song titles as the fourth one is called ‘With so many signatures, you can start a petition’.
It’s again the language skills that seem to stick tongues in my ears as a listener. They lubricate them with spit as I try to listen to the rest of the music. Here again I come to this hopeless dilemma of standing on some crossroad of music that has its (probably unintended) flaws and it’s moments of potential.

I don’t know if I as a listener must go for the green light and cross that railway of approval, wait in front of it until a next train passes by, or perhaps step on the rail and see what happens. A ‘so so’ moment that could be manipulated if someone would find a way to get some booze rolling, when drunk this review could turn into some enthusiastic rambling or just me and my words being splatted by a train made out of pure honesty.

Let’s better keep on moving, yo! You don’t want to face the gore of blood all over the inside of your screen, right? The fifth track that at this stage in the review has a very fitting title of: ‘..And then they crashed against technology, did that hurt?’ is also the last one available on this release. You know what they say ‘save the best for last’ and with that in mind we restart fresh and happy with listening to the wonderful beginning of the end.

The drum is rolling and a pleasant guitar melody is shining some healthy light on the case. I expect any moment a guest appearance of Thom Yorke who steals a microphone as to show that he digs the sound so much that he feels like singing on top. Luckily Thom isn’t here as the music is strong enough to do its lovely deed on its own. The tension in the music is building up and than chills out again until the happy distortion starts with the more pleasant played louder drums.

It’s a tease as after a tiny break the music goes for a pretty chill vibe again that sounds sunny. And then we arrive at the highlight of this EP; an orgasm of togetherness! The guitars, the drums, a trumpet; the trio and their friends starts singing happy together as a wordless happy choir and it’s basically an explosion of feel good happiness! Great job guys, that was unexpected and beautiful! Absolutely the best track on the release, I’m sure all the listening readers at home will agree.

Although my impression is that DAGS! is probably more a band that you have to hear and see live, just to get that party vibe started while munching on nachos and crates of beer; the 5 track EP (including the lovely ‘..And then they crashed against technology, did that hurt?’ togetherness Anthem, is available for your purchase on a one sided 12″ piece of clear vinyl from To Lose La Track and Neat is Murder records.
http://dagswithanexclamationmark.bandcamp.com

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