Ink & Dagger

Ink & Dagger

Ink & Dagger

Buddyhead

Missing a precious few inches, Ink & Dagger could’ve been a great record. Instead, we’re left with the band’s final statement, a nevertheless good post-punk record that sounds conspicuously unfinished, undoubtedly and sadly precipitated by the untimely death of frontman Sean McCabe, one of the most delightfully challenging interviewees this writer’s encountered, this past summer. Lacking the stereophile’s wet dreamed layers of The Fine Art of Original Sin two years previous, not to mention its schizophrenic song structures and gothtronic demure, Ink & Dagger’s self-titled final album features oft-muddy production, miring the band’s funkier new ideas, ones that sound chemically addled and soporific on the surface but, truthfully, are actually much more on the outer fringes of modern art-punk — still, a confused and confusing haze clouds these intentions. Nevertheless, guitarist Don Devore seems like he’s been reading up on his Halo Of Flies records just as much as he’s done thus with Fugazi’s recent ones, arriving at a PCP-laced, near-Hendrix-ian singe loudly occupied by gone-wrong chorus pedals and nimble-fingered 12th fret attacks. Similarly, the full n’ fumbling rhythms here recall the best of Bonham (Zep’s drummer, not his son’s stupid band, idiot), which somehow makes sense, as Ink & Dagger‘s predecessor capably culled from the past to make the future that much more electric, that much more promising, that much more… like a future. Unfortunately, there’s not gonna be a future for Ink & Dagger, and I can only hope there are at least an EP’s worth of songs from these sessions to make this passing of the torch — to whom? is the question — a bit more bearable. Farewell, you misunderstood curmudgeons.

Buddyhead, P.O. Box 1268, Hollywood, CA 90078; http://www.buddyhead.com

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