Local Band in Focus

The Plain Dealers

Meet the Band: Brandon "Chic" Dagger (vocals), Eric D. Becker (guitar), Dean Lannigan (bass), and Tim Calzone (drums).

Long Time Coming: The Plain Dealers' origins date back to the late '80s, when Dagger and Becker used to skateboard and play in the punk band the TKOs. "We were screw-ups at the time, so we never did get anything together," says Dagger.

Room With a View: Once the band got together, Dagger's incarceration slowed its progress. "I got myself jammed up and went away for a while," he says. "I got out of jail and had written some songs," including the old-school-punk "Terminal Darkness," which recounts his perspective of Public Square from a county jail cell.

If You Can't Beat 'Em ... Stop Trying: Dagger says there's definitely a punk scene in Cleveland, but admits "it's not like it used to be." "Kids aren't as angry as they used to be," he says. "I kind of live in my own little world and block everyone else out. I ain't trying to change nothing, because it's not going to happen. You might as well make the best of it and do whatever you can."

Why You Should Hear Them: The Plain Dealers' self-titled debut EP is raw, gritty, and infused with a tuneful crunch. Dagger bellows like Johnny Rotten as guitars rumble with an old-school garage-punk fury that recalls local heroes the Dead Boys.

Where You Can Hear Them: plaindealers.us. — Chris Parker