Hook and the Daggers - This Is Ballroom Thrash (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Hook and the Daggers

This Is Ballroom Thrash (2005)


There something to be said for keeping it simple. Hook & the Daggers, they keep it simple. With their speedy punk anthems, at times injecting a bit of a melodic flair, the band rages through 15 songs in a mere 22 minutes on This Is Ballroom Thrash.

The name of the first track, and the lyrics its song is on, speak volumes for the motives of the band. "Fuck You Punk, This Is Ballroom Thrash" and its lyrics seem to light a fire under the band, as their furious riffing and frantic vocals would attest to;

I call myself 'punk' and say that I support the scene, just to get on the cover of a glossy magazine / I only exist outside of the industry, because I'm waiting for the day that they'll accept me, I'll water it down / I'll wear the right clothes, I'll spike my hair just right, I'll pierce all of my holes / But where's the rage and desperation? It's all morphed into one cartoon parody / No, I don't want to piss off any man, so I'll just kiss your ass and shake your hand.

It's great that a band has the balls to speak out like that, against the things they see as infiltrating their scene with bullshit. The lyrics in many of the songs take on a similar theme, without ever seeming to become repetitive. With the songs being as short as they are, nothing repeats; everything is fresh, fast, and pissed off. While reach of the songs may be relatively simple in structure, there's something to be said for that. "Self-Proclaimed Anarchists Are Usually Just Douche Bags" offers up some pounding, lightning quick riffing with schizophrenic vocals to anchor it all. The band gets their point across and then some in just a minute and thirteen seconds, and the momentum just keeps on building and building. "Way to Kill the Mood, Asshole" offers up a much more anthemic sound than was previously put out there; it's just got a terrific fighting spirit. Each song has its own unique draw, which is impressive with such a stripped down, raw punk album. They manage to change up both the chord progressions and vocal delivery enough to truly keep things interesting to any listener. The riffing in "Botox Disaster" is absolutely top-notch, and it perfectly sets the stage for "House of the Rising Sun" to close things out.

There's just really no reason for you to not check this album out. It's got absolutely everything that a punk album should, and everything most punk albums have been missing as of late. This band and record are proof that a snotty "fuck you" attitude still hasn't gone out of style.