Dag Nasty - Can I Say (Cover Artwork)

Dag Nasty

Dag Nasty: Can I SayCan I Say (1986)
Dischord Records

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

Contributed by: MorphineSandwichMorphineSandwich
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Fucking awesome. It took me a couple listens to really "get" this album. I'd always heard it connected to the mid-80's Dischord "Revolution Summer" scene, which I personally think kicks ass. I'd heard that the album had been remastered and put on CD with a couple demos and live tracks, along with.
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Fucking awesome.

It took me a couple listens to really "get" this album. I'd always heard it connected to the mid-80's Dischord "Revolution Summer" scene, which I personally think kicks ass. I'd heard that the album had been remastered and put on CD with a couple demos and live tracks, along with a few other DC albums from the eighties, so when I found it, I picked it up at the local record joint.

For sort of a backstory, if I recall correctly, Dag Nasty was (Minor Threat guitarist) Brian Baker's band. Dave Smalley, the vocalist, joined after the first vocalist, Shawn, left. This was their first record with Dave.

Well, the album was Can I Say, and it was released in 1986, around the time of Revolution Summer, with bands like Beefeater, Embrace, and Rites of Spring. Dag Nasty was the most hardcore-inflected of the bunch, and the most intense. They got a lot of credit for starting emo, but that's not what I hear here. This is fast, fun, aggressive punk, in classic Dischord style.

Open up the lyric sheet, and you'll find the classic themes of rock: failure and anger, lost love and, well, more anger. There are a lot of questions asked in the lyrics, sort of coming back to the theme of feeling as though you've failed, making mistakes over and over again.

I mentioned that the album was beefed up by the Dischord remastering people, and I think the live tracks are the highlight of the album, tracks like "I've Heard", "Another Wrong", "Trying", and "Justification." Listening to these songs makes me realize that Dag Nasty must have been a fucking unbelievable live band back in the day. The other added track, "My Dog's A Cat" is a lot of fun, but not exactly fitting of the rest of the album.

I've heard Dag Nasty described as a skatepunk band and en emo band, but they are neither. Dag Nasty, at least with this album, Dag Nasty is a fucking punk rock album. This will have a nice long stay in my CD case.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jake83 (May 16, 2012)

Pretty much punk (or emo / post hardcore / whatever) perfection right here and one of my all time favourites. Nice!

flint-punk (August 2, 2008)

Can I Say is such a great album! I recall hearing it when it was released in '86, thinking that it is such a departure from the 3 chord angst ridden punk of the time. It did take a few plays before it started to sink in for me. This is the record I point to as the music that introduced me to more of the Dischord 'emo' bands that were coming out at the same time.

The only thing better than hearing the album was seeing Dag Nasty with Descendants and Agent Orange at the Greystone in Detroit! One of my top 10 live punk rock shows of all time!


Anonymous (April 30, 2006)

Dag Nasty were actually looked down upon my most of there peers due to there throwback to an older, oversaturated sound. Also due to the fact that they removed themselves from the 'D.C' way of thinking at the time. They played more with Government Issue than they did with Rites of Spring or Embrace.

Anonymous (February 15, 2006)

Someone needs to write a review for Wig Out. I love this fucking album.

Anonymous (June 15, 2005)

Sean brown did write mosy=t f these lyrics it si a fact----those of you saying brian wrote the lyrics are wrong wrong wrong

Strewtho (April 24, 2003)

I like the new album, fairly solid but this is their best, smalley's vocals are great on it.

Anonymous (April 23, 2003)

i was a bit bummed that the "unreleased track" on the dischord box set was just the version of all ages show from the 85-86 compilation, which all dag fans should pick up. a lot of the bonus tracks on the re-issues were from there as well. the unreleased fugazi songs on the box set are an old song called "the word" and a live version of burning.

Anonymous (April 23, 2003)

what was the unreleased fugazi on the dischord boxset?

i kind of like the dag nasty 4 on the floor not really a reunion album. More than the more recent one, which was pretty bland, though i still really like 'ghosts'.


sickboi (April 22, 2003)

I take it you're referring to "All Ages Show", which I agree. Maybe my fav Dag song EVER.

Anonymous (April 22, 2003)

This is quasi-relevant at best, but there's a great "unreleased" Dag Nasty song (and an even better one from Fugazi) on the Dischord boxed set. Just a fun fact.


Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

One of my all time faviorite albums.-SaYnE_GuY

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

Scott, no offense dude, but buy it. It's a great record and Dischord and the Dag Nasty boys could use a few bucks. All Dischord albums are still $10 post paid.


Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

p.s.s. another wrong, my dog is a cat and the other tracks AFTER track 10 are bonus tracks, so if they don't fit with the mood of the album, it's because they weren't intended to be on it.

Anonymous (April 20, 2003)

the original CD version with this and Wig Out is one of my top 10 CDs ever. i haven't gotten the re-mastered version, but it's on my list.

p.s. to the guy who said sean brown wrote these lyrics, he didn't. brian baker wrote almost all of them.

sickboi (April 19, 2003)

The Richmond mail service is fucked, seriously. I read that is one of the 10 worst postal systems in America. They also lost my fucking check to Dell which I am going through hell to get reissued. The said cd was actually "4 on the Floor". I'll glady resend, along with the other cd, Strike Anywhere. Unfortunately, I only had one paper, so thats gone.

Anonymous (April 19, 2003)

shawn didn't write the lyrics for this record, brian did.


maverick (April 19, 2003)

This is one of two albums that sickboi was supposed to burn and send me like, 8 months ago.

The package still hasn't arrived, dude...


lieutenant (April 19, 2003)

This is absolutely one of my most favorite albums ever. Not to get all cliche, but this band pierces the heart in the best way ever until you bleed Dag Nasty.

Anonymous (April 19, 2003)

The Revolution Summer was when DC hardcore bands started becoming more instrospective and "emotional" with their lyrics. See Rites of Spring and Embrace. It wasn't the fall of hardcore. Others call it the birth of emo...

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

"can someone here please tell me what the hell "revolution summer" was all about? is that kind of like the fall of dc hardcore or something? sorry, i don't know too much about the dc hardcore scene. but i'm willing to learn."

revolution summer was the term given to the summer of 1985. it was called revolution summer becuase it was when the Dischord scene pretty much revolted against the hardcore scene which had been over run by jocks/nazis/generally violent people. the whole idea was distancing themselves from that scene and creating a new one. also it was revolutionary becuase it was the first time the Dischord kids really began to mobolize on many social issues. hope that clears up any confusion

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

What the fuck is 'emo' anyway? It is short for emotional and if any music is worth a shit, shouldn't it have 'emo'tion? I'm tired of hearing about emo this and hardcore that and fashion core this and geek rock that. Labels are nothing more than stereotypes. Can't something be good or bad?

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

people call converge emo

rightcliqificus (April 18, 2003)

On the new record, they come off sounding like pennywise quite a bit. more so than on their older stuff. i'm sure its not on purpose. i love pennywise.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

can someone here please tell me what the hell "revolution summer" was all about? is that kind of like the fall of dc hardcore or something? sorry, i don't know too much about the dc hardcore scene. but i'm willing to learn.

Mr_Pink (April 18, 2003)

You gotta take into account that when this came out the "emocore" label got thrown around because Dag Nasty and some of the other DC bands were deviating from the "i'm broke/i'm drunk/damn the man" blueprint. So the emo thing didn't really have the same connotation, it was "emotional hardcore" not "crybaby powerpop." This was one of the first punk records I ever heard, right after I had moved from backwoods NC to northern VA in 86, great stuff.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

This is a great record, one of the top albums ever, except for the fact that Shawn Brown wrote all the lyrics that Smalley so passionately sings. Still if you do not own this you should.

TheOneTrueBill (April 18, 2003)

i agree completely about the "emo" misnomer. i hear nothing emo about this.

Dave Smalley is the man

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

its about time this was reviewed. classic peice of music

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

The review's about the remastered one. The bonus tracks are Never Go Back, and My Dog's A Cat, and the four live tracks. I heard about the Can I Say/Wig Out bundle thing, but I couldn't find a copy.


sloppyblake (April 18, 2003)

i need to buy some new cds.

Anonymous (April 18, 2003)

Anyone get the remastered edition with all the extra crap? I got the one for "Wig Out at Denko's" but have wondered what this one has...


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