May 7, 2009
CLOAK/DAGGER SURF SONG 7" REVIEW
Cloak & Dagger have a new untitled single on Jade Tree, which I've been putting on here and there this week along with their full length album 'We Are' also from the Tree.
I really have to watch that movie again with Henry Thomas, I remember wishing I would bump into some spy on the way from my friends house and he'd give me a secret disk as he was dying and I'd have to get it to the government, and avoid the Commies. Or Red Dawn...I was obsessed...me and my brother stole my dad's Vietnam coffee table book and built covered traps for the Russians (and each other) in the back yard with sharpened sticks and bent trees back with triplines full of spikes. I'm lucky to be alive. If we had grenades I would have put fishing line on the pin and put that between two trees. That's not a good book to have around.
All this makes sense with Cloak and Dagger, bear with me....it's hardcore punk, with a produced giant sound. This is the big budget movie version of Black Flag. If Minor Threat was Red Dawn, classic and awesome (Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise!) then Cloak & Dagger is Die Harder, it's rooted in classic history, but updated... it's fast paced and things fly from the screen at your face.
The A-Side 'Surf Song'
This is produced huge sounding completely punk. The only reference I have for anyone even like it is Fucked up or Hot Snakes. It sounds completely loud: it's mixed loud, the vocals are fighting their way through layers of punchy distortion, the cymbals are practically the only quiet thing, which makes no sense.
The vocals are a mix of yelled individual vocals and then at the chorus everyone chimes in...you know the deal. Not surf punk...post punk that's talking about surfing.
No Sand / No Surf / No Sun / Real life is not much fun
It sounds fun for Cloak / Dagger
Concentration Camp: More fullness, like every square inch of frequency is being occupied by some instrument. A couple of guitars it sounds like, phasing. The bass and kick are dominating the low end.
That's a split for you...surf song and then by the way our B-Side is called Concentration Camp. Now in their defense it sounds like they mean it literally. They are concentrating and they happen to be in a camp...it's not the Nazi version. I could be reaching, but I know it's not the Nazi kind for sure....as punk as that can be, they are taking the higher road.
I've been comparing these tracks to their full length from a couple years ago and I have to say it, they are kind of giving into their pop side...this is very Hot Snakes...who I always felt like they were just doing what they wanted, not really trying to please anyone in particular, what was fun to play, to record. The songs are the same length, the speed it there, the instrumentation...it just ends up being a little softer (wow, is that ok to say?) not as angular, abrasive. There's melodies now I keep wanting to go back to.
Direct from Jade Tree...home of the late Pedro the Lion and Cap n' Jazz. They've been at this for years.....
Cloak and Dagger
1. Surf Song
2. Concentration Camp
Layout by Rich Perusi
Mixed by Paul Michel
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