Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dag Nasty

It's classic Sunday again!!... and today's feature will make some of you hardcore folks that are around my age smile and even laugh a little. During the mid to late 80s most of the original crop of hardcore punk bands did one of two things. Some of them simply folded while others made an attempt to embrace the mainstream. Bands started to mix 'n' match musicians in order to incorporate a slower melodic guitar sound since shaved heads and jack boots were quickly being replaced by mullet haircuts and Megadeth t-shirts at their shows. Yep... Hardcore was ending rapidly. The FU's became Straw Dogs, Corrosion Of Conformity watered things down with Ugly Americans front man Simon Bob and Dirty Rotten Imbeciles even came out with a release titled Crossover that would send even their biggest fans running. There was another part of the hardcore scene that evolved towards the ears of alternative college radio. This post-hardcore sound was largely a product of a few Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA straight edge bands that would later mistakenly be labeled emotive or Emo by people who like to create McGenres to sell bad new music to young people. Most of the bands, including today's featured standout, were simply moving forward in much the same way Husker Du did a few years earlier. Unfortunately, the stigma of being a band in either DC or LA was too much to overcome in much the same way people would think of the soon to follow Seattle Grunge scene. Simply put... People get sick of stuff. If you aren't already sifting through your old vinyl or cassettes for this and other classics from those days you may want to find them.

Dag Nasty
was formed in 1985 and soon had a relationship with the legendary Washington, DC based label Discord Records. Their first release Can I Say (1986) was probably the only true hardcore album if you ask most fans. I had the privilege to see them that very same year on tour here in Columbus, Ohio with label mates Beefeater. The featured song today is from the third full length album titled Field Day which was released in 1988 on now defunct Giant Records. For the purpose of this writeup, and because I have the CD case in front of me, I will list the band lineup from that year. Peter Cortner (vocals), Doug Carrion (bass), Brian Baker (guitar) and Scott Garrett (drums). If you would like to hear the early material here is a great YouTube video of Can I Say featuring original vocalist Shawn Brown.

Another YouTube video can be found that features Peter Cortner in an impromptu acoustic version of "When I Move" from the 1987 release Wig Out At Denko's... here you go:

Even though the band is only a project these days, there is still an official Dag Nasty website which I recommend you visit, as well as a Dag Nasty MySpace that IS the real deal as far as I can tell. This album is a classic but don't go looking for deep poetic abstracts here. This is just a good rock band explaining, in simple terms, their constant transition as a musical entity.

MP3: Trouble Is
Bonus MP3: Typical


chris said...

good call on the dag nasty. that takes me back with a smile & some eye rolling at myself and other mixed emotions.....

chris of The Sheds

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Anonymous said...

Im from Mexico and DAG NASTY has always been one of my fav bands ever, that CD Field Day is great too, i loved it even if it wasnt HC it was more like alternative rock before that term was even used, but its full fo good songs and melodies