"One of the toughest things about being an amazing live band is transferring the in-person experience to CD. And there aren't many better live bands than Baltimore trio Double Dagger. Just check out the mayhem the vocals-bass-drums trio inspired at Baltimore's Whartscape festival last weekend. There's simply no way to recreate that infectious live energy, but the aptly-titled "Ragged Rumble" comes pretty close. The intense low-end roar is all there, and it's a perfect match for the roar of singer Nolen Strals. He rails against the gentrification of Baltimore on "Luxury Condos for the Poor," the Iraq war on "Army vs. Navy" and celebrity-obsessed society in "Camera Chimera." He can switch from agitated speak-sing to ferocious howl at a moment's notice (check out "Luxury Condos" below) and that's when things really kick into high gear. It's music with a message, not unlike Fugazi, but it's the way the band's three elements work together to create a unique sonic assault that makes "Ragged Rumble" work so well. It's amazing how a band with no guitar can sound so loud, but with bassist Bruce Willen (and some helpful overdrive pedals) and drummer Dennis Bowen as locked in as they are, you never miss the presence of the six-string. This is the kind of record that probably won't make it onto the radar of too many people, but will leave a lasting impression on those who take the time to listen."
- David Malitz
The Washington Post
"Finally, a punk band that's pissed off for the right reasons."
Don't Quit Your Day Job Blog
"Self-proclaimed 'designcore' trio Double Dagger-dudes work as graphic designers, play post-hardcore-should remind folks of Unwound, the olden Olympia trio who also knew their way around a punk collage. "Luxury Condos For The Poor" takes on real estate with a Black Pus spirit ("You lived here your whole life/It's time to get out/They're building waterfront gravesites, 30 stories high/Where dreams of fictional people live/While the city around you dies"), setting it to a Fake Train dynamic swing that bounces between cathartic uplift (hello Drive Like Jehu!) and half-spoken downslide (goodbye Avail!) then curls its lips into a soft spray of outro feedback."
- Brandon Stosuy
Paper Thin Walls
"We're not sure if it's coincidence or cosmic design that Double Dagger frontman (and occasional City Paper contributor) Nolen Strals bears a passing resemblance to a young Howard Devoto, having managed to channel the Buzzcocks/Magazine singer's perpetual nervousness and spastic onstage grace into Double Dagger's clangorous and catchy postpunk/hardcore. DD is the only band in town that can make just bass, drums, and a dude shrieking about Helvetica and Times New Roman sound like the rapture is upon us--and make you want to sing along, to boot. The band's new album is called Ragged Rubble, and you can get it for the first time at this Current Gallery release show. You should also take the opportunity to pick up relatively new local shit from openers Thank You and the New Flesh while you're at it. Buy Baltimore, folks."
- Jess Harvell
Baltimore City Paper
"Double Dagger has always provided dark, frenetic, politically charged punk rock for people who enjoy using their brains. DD's sophomore effort, Ragged Rubble, is crunchy sonic asphalt that builds admirably on the band's 2003 self-titled full-length debut. Whereas before frenetic frontman Nolen Strals howled and preened about CMYK, boring parties, and other hazards of being half of Baltimore's premier graphic-design firm/punk-rock outfit, now he's looking outward. Ragged Rubble is pumped full of righteous indignation about the war in Iraq, consumer culture, and Baltimore City's recent predilection for building luxury condos while entire sections of the city's low-income housing collapse to the ground."
- J. Bowers
Baltimore City Paper
"Of the various approaches to challenging the performer-audience relationship, from G.G. Allin's ordure-flinging to Robert Fripp perching unceremoniously on a high stool, this one seems worth a return visit."
Sold By Volume
"Baltimore's most important band."
The Mobtown Shank
"Luxury is a new EP from Baltimore post-punk mouthpiece, Double Dagger. Four demo tracks for an upcoming full length titled Ragged Rubble due out in spring 2007 on Stationary (Heart) Recordings.
Since their 2004 self-titled full length Double Dagger has recruited former Economist drummer Denny Bowen, who's made a great fit to the band. Bass player Bruce Willen's parts are noticeably thicker and more versatile than his previous efforts. On EP opener "The Psychic" he creates a swirling melody that builds as the song progresses into a furious wall of sound. Singer Nolen Stral's vocals sound more urgent and inflammatory than ever, gravitating here towards themes of modern consumer culture and the yuppification of Baltimore city.
If Luxury is any indication, their next album is going to rule. Be sure to pick up a copy of Ragged Rubble when it comes out."
- Justin Blemly
High Res Photos