Oversaturation is a scary, scary thing.
Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love the recent influx of super melodic hardcore bands. Acts like Set Your Goals and Shook Ones are proving that punk rock can be playful and meaningful -- both have sprawling, pop-infused anthems that are actually simultaneously strong religious critiques, while even over in the United Kingdom, others like the Steal provide perfectly socially aware profiles of the very scene they play for. Sure, melodic hardcore has existed for years, there's no arguing that, but it just seems these days that the pop-punk element is fully embraced, with an appropriate lack of shame. But how many is enough? When does this become a trend instead of something simply awesome? Who's going to be the straw that breaks the camel's back?
I'm not saying Daggermouth is that band. No no no no. SoCal / Fat Wreck-influenced pop-punk/hardcore, they bring a little something extra to the mix, and that's why they're not that band. However, as they don't seem as strong as the aforementioned, I feel like that unknown band, and their enusing flood of crappy soundalikes, could be closer than we think.
I'm getting ahead of myself here. Daggermouth's Stallone is still solid. They do exactly what you think -- New Found Glory and Saves the Day-styled pop-punk, but played at the speed of skatepunk and with the energy of hardcore, with Nick Pickle's flailing yell atop it all. I think my biggest issue is that it just isn't as memorable as it should be.
The first third of the album does have some standouts, though. "Vegas Chaffe, Brutha I Got It Too" is one of their more heartfelt moments and it works well -- just the little "c'mon c'mon!" backups provide a great moment, while punctual gang vocals accent the uplifting "Shildo's Quest: Legacy of the Dung." Further down the line, "Lassie's Last Dance" is a moderately catchy number, but I think "The Dude Just Wants His Rug Back" is my favorite, thanks to its riffy, desperate chorus (and breakdown), and tempo change sandwiching it -- although the same of the latter could probably be said for its immediate follower, "Texas John's Sweet Herbal Remedy."
Again, it's hard to push Daggermouth as strong as the ringleaders in their likely doomed style, but they've certainly got a good shot at catching up.
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