When you look at the pedigree of Cloak/Dagger, you really can’t argue with it: American Nightmare, Striking Distance, Count Me Out, and Trial by Fire, among others. But what is refreshing is that Piñata really doesn’t sound exactly like any of those bands. Cloak/Dagger
deliver four songs of aggressive hardcore-punk, not hardcore, not punk, on this 7". "Daggers Daggers" sets things in motion with a flurry of speedy riffs and drumming and coarse screams in a sound similar to Black Flag. "Paranoid" follows in a more traditional verse-chorus-verse song-structure, providing opportunity for
sing-alongs to the chorus. "Electrocution" chimes in first on the B-side and quickly has become one of my favorite songs of 2006. The lyrics are catchy and great to sing-along with; the music fuses the world of hardcore-punk with a dash of rock-n-roll, allowing it to
stick out from the other songs. Cloak/Dagger wrap this 7" up with "Shady Grove," another hardcore-punk ditty moving at Mach 2.
Edgy, energetic punk. One can clearly hear the those influences, particularly for the thrashy "Paranoid," but there’s a bit of nervy snakiness (?!) in the guitar and bass-lines. Makes me think of the bands from the 90s who would be considered "indy rock" but had punk aggression. In any case, it’s the remedy to chase away my increasing
jadedness. (PO Box 12482, Richmond, VA 23241,
These guys recently signed to Jade Tree so you know that this is on the more palatable end of things for me, but I just can’t get over how fresh this band sounds. Sure, there are influences that you can pick out?°¦ the Black Flag element was very up front on their demo tracks, the Wipers/Hot Snakes thing is obvious and there seems to be more than a hint of the Regulations’ guitar sound, but nothing here feels like revivalism. In his review Al Quint mentioned that these guys sound like an indie rock band with a punk edge, and I think if there weren’t former members of Count Me Out and various other hardcore bands on the stage they could’ve come up through the Pitchfork scene just as easily as the hardcore scene. Regardless, this is a band that is breaking down barriers and I absolutely cannot stop listening to this EP.
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Jade Tree is pleased to announce the latest addition to the roster, Richmond, VA’s CLOAK/DAGGER. CLOAK/DAGGER are currently fine tuning songs for an upcoming debut EP to be recorded in the Fall, with more details to be announced in the coming weeks.
CLOAK/DAGGER is a relatively new project, with roots that began in October of 2005. The band, comprised of Colin Kimble, Jason Mazzola and brothers Aaron and Colin Barth, recorded a demo following a handful of practices, which was released on Halloween of last year. Taking hints from a variety of influences, the demo combined the jagged aggression of bands like Black Flag and the Circle Jerks with the more urgent execution of the Drive Like Jehu/Rocket from the Crypt/Hot Snakes camp. The demo was well received around the Richmond area, and eventually landed in the reviews at Maximum Rock and Roll, referencing CLOAK/DAGGER as "Not retro, but real punk rock."
The band continued to practice throughout the Winter, playing shows up and down the East Coast with the likes of PAINT IT BLACK, FUCKED UP, Big Business, Career Suicide and Government Warning, before eventually recording a 4-song 7" for Grave Mistake Records. The Pinata EP, released earlier this Summer, finds the band navigating their way through a tighter, rawer sound, and has been described as "Black Flag fighting Hot Snakes scraped raw and turned up to 10."
Cloak/Dagger will be playing a handful of shows through the rest of the Summer, including tonight with the likes of fellow Jade Tree artists PAINT IT BLACK, and The Loved Ones. If you’re in or around the Philadelphia area, the show is at the First Unitarian Church, and starts at 7:30 PM. CLOAK/DAGGER will be playing songs from the Pinata 7" along with selections from their upcoming EP.
I love these LP releases that come with a digital download; I get to have the record and superior packaging to enjoy at home, and be able to play the music while at work or on my wanderings. Anyway, Cloak/Dagger are firm favourites here at SD, and this new album is a killer; it’s even better than “We Are?°¦” I think, and right from the off it’s wonderful tuneage all the way. Like a harsher Shitty Limits, they invoke memories of the early UK punk bands, but with more of an edge and a little more speed. These are wonderful songs that get into your head and stay there for days. Once I started playing this album I found I couldn’t stop, it’s been days now and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet. Brilliant.
I’m not one to really be impressed by band merch but Cloak/Dagger’s tshirts are what first caught my attention. At MD/DC/VA shows I would always see at least two people wearing a tshirt emblazoned with the Cloak/Dagger logo but in an array of colors: yellow, orange, pink, red, etc. I finally got the nerve to ask someone what the band was like and he told me a mix between Black Flag and Hot Snakes. I figured that I’d check them out myself.
Last October at The Fest V in Gainsville, FL I finally got to see them play and I understood why they might have an affinity with color. Like a kid walking around in a bright yellow shirt in a sea of black and white, Cloak/Dagger is an anomaly. Their garage rock n roll tinged songs are aggressive yet rhythmic enough to actually dance to which sets them apart within a genre where music is almost always too fast or too angry to shake your hips too. I stayed around to pick up their CD after their set but they didn’t have one out. The only music that was available to buy was a 7" and that was about a year old.After a year of waiting, people that don’t have record players now have a chance to play Cloak/Dagger’s music at home because they’ve finally announced that their full length We Are (Jade Tree) will be released on September 11. Click here to hear the track "Runaways" from their new album. If you are in the MD/DC/VA area I recommend checking them out at the dates below:
06/23/2007 – Alley Katz -Richmond, VA No Way Records Fest w/ Career Suicide, Direct Control, Wasted Time and more
07/18/2007 – Parking lot of Warehouse Next Door – Washington, DC w/ Fucked Up and Government Warning
07/21/2007 – Cafe Alfishway – Washington, DC w/ Criminal Damage Washington DC