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Silver Daggers 

New High & Ord (Load Records)

Silver Daggers started as an arty duo beholden to keyboard freaks from the late '70s, like the Screamers and Nervous Gender. While adding members, however, the Daggers transformed their sound, but retained their idols' frizzy energy.

The band today is genuinely frenetic, although their style is a bit by-the-book Ex or early Rough Trade, a retro-fashion that's a couple years past its sell-by date. With sax and vocals squealing like epileptic pigs, the jagged bass locks well with the drums and yanks the band around with ease. The track "Joy" best articulates Silver Daggers' sheer noisy fun. They're probably a total blast to dance to live.

In the end, however, there's not enough frizz for this freak, but there's plenty for most. The artwork of underground illustrator Gary Panter adorns the cover. Although Panter didn't contribute one nit to the sounds inside, the fact that someone employed such a genius is reason enough to check out the band.

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