Song of the Day

Dragged In, “Come Out Swinging,” from LP 1 (Cursed Blessings Records, 2020)

Toronto has long gifted us a wildly varied punk scene. That cold weather klatch to the North has again delivered, this time via Dragged In.

2020 saw the fierce Ontario hardcore punk unit drop their debut long player. They clearly have a penchant for the custodial when naming their works, this being the aptly titled LP 1 after bookending 2016 with a double dose of EPs.

As the inaugural release for the newly minted Cursed Blessings Records, the 13-track album is sure as shit a good way to introduce themselves. 

Song of the Day “Come Out Swinging” is, other than a verb tense away from a Wonder Years ripper, a steamrolling mission statement. The band flexes straightforward hardcore muscle, embracing and updating classic USHC in a manner similar to Western Addiction, Albany’s After the Fall, and the sorely missed (at least by me!) New Mexican Disaster Squad.

Incidentally, I didn’t know of their shared DNA with Brutal Youth until I managed some sleuthing. For the uninitiated, they also manage the perfect meld of aggro lightspeed to the hyper melodic.

Guitars focus on being clear and Raptor-sharp as opposed to overwhelming or crushing. The treble heavy approach suits them perfectly, allowing for a well balanced attack.  

The song starts on a receding wave of feedback and a ripping lead. They even have hints of Kid Dynamite’s not so “cheap shot” anthems for the young. There’s even a hint of the gravely vocal touch before segueing into a halftime break that legit sounds like Henry Rollins. There’s an almost athletic fluidity to the vocals that endlessly impresses.  

Of the many things that makes it so deeply satisfying, it’s the dependability that, for me, makes it so appealing. They don’t surprise as much as they do exactly what you expect to a sterling degree.

Dragged In clearly condensed lessons from decades of non-descriptor hardcore punk.

The band boast flashes of Orange County, first wave USHC, '90s melodic hardcore, and the crystalline, enormous sound of post-Suffer skate punk. Even the band name lends itself a sense of the classic, a name so perfect and obvious that it begets a sense of nostalgia as much as it does the present moment.

Across the blazing runtime, Dragged In burn excitedly, tossing in an impossibly high number of backing vocals. It’s just a taste of the taut and well executed hardcore on display across the LP. 

Dragged In would do as well on big stages as they would in the basement. Fans of PEARS and their ilk need to take heed and look to the North. Surprisingly, that’s where the heat is coming from. 

Pick up a copy of LP 1 on vinyl directly from Cursed Blessings Records, or hit up Bandcamp for the digital.

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Tagged: dragged in

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