The Ridgelands - Daggers Down (Cover Artwork)

The Ridgelands

Daggers Down (2013)

Sexy Baby Records

Daggers Down is the debut LP from Chicago skate punks The Ridgelands. This album is pretty much just straightforward skate punk all the way through. The melodies and lyrics are similar to those of The Queers, dealing with topics such as girls, boredom and getting drunk. However, the energy of the music is closer to that of Rancid and bands of the sort.

The album opens with "Die," an upbeat and simple song about hating everything, and is also a great introduction into the album. From there, The Ridgelands blast through 12 more fast-paced songs before closing with a pop-punk breakup song titled "You Were the Reason." Most of the songs on this album sound fairly similar, probably due to the fact that the singer/guitarist Tall Doug claims to only know four chords. The real attributes that make the songs distinguishable are the melodies, which are undeniably catchy at times. Bassist Mike Schultz adds to this album with call-and-response backing vocals and sings lead on the track "Apple Bong." The standout songs for me are "Let Me Know," "Lost Boys" and "Anti-Hero."

Overall, Daggers Down is a simple but effective skate punk album. While I would like to see The Ridgelands deviate outside of their musical comfort zone a little more, I can't really complain about any of the songs on this album. Nothing in particular stands out as overwhelmingly bad. The Ridgelands are a great addition to the Chicago punk scene and Daggers Down is a decent album of Ramones-derived punk.