Love and Rage by Shooting Daggers

Release date: February 16, 2024
Label: New Heavy Sounds

“Yeeeaaah!” roar the Shooting Daggers right from the starting blocks on the opening song ‘Dare’ from the London based hardcore punk (or as they describe themselves queercore) explosive debut album Love and Rage. They urge you to ‘dare to break the walls’ and ‘dare to feel alive’ as not only do they themselves dare, but succeed in delivering a colossal sized musical leap forwards with Love and Rage in such a short space of time. The finely tuned ears of the New Heavy Sounds label’s head honchos Paul and Jed heard the potential and have got it right again, and then some.

The band have always had the rage. Now, they come blazing with a set of rousing, boot stomping bangers. Get prepared for mosh-pit multi-tasking as hearty chorus singalongs will be required in equal measure to the swirly mess of being at the front of a hardcore punk gig. ‘Dare’, ‘Not My Rival’, ‘Tunnel Vision’, skatecore’s ‘Wipeout’, and ‘Smug’ – with its deft touch of an Alice in Chains stylised chorus – are all glorious instant wake up calls as they rightly claim on ‘Not My Rival’ ‘we are the new generation to shake things up.’ It goes without saying, to get full maximum listening rewards; play loud!

 

They also apply additional dexterity and demonstrate they can branch out into softer territories while not affecting the coherence, or diluting their overall (controlled) fury. ‘Love and Rage’, ‘Guilty Conscience’, see the band edge into shoegazey guitar textures before turning the amps fully off with the piano/vocals ‘Caves Outro.’ It’s a three-dimensional fully formed Shooting Daggers, and they are all the better for it.

There was an excellent compilation released last year: Guerilla Girls: She Punks and Beyond on Ace Records, which includes The Slits, Babes in Toyland, L7, Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, among many others profiling (and to quote from the album sleeve) ”a five-decade alternative to the macho hegemony of rock’.’ The thread continues, as Shooting Daggers should certainly be one of those destined to be up for inclusion if there is a future Volume 2.

From what seems like pretty much out of nowhere Shooting Daggers have made staggering strides at a rapid rate to deliver a hugely ear-catching debut. If there is another hardcore punk/grungey album this year to equal (let alone better) Love and Rage then we are in for a fabulous year for heavy aggressive music.

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