Lil Daggers – Lil Daggers

January 01, 1970

(Limited Fanfare)



Who are Lil Daggers and why haven’t you heard of them? Well,
the band’s not in any great hurry to provide you with answers, judging by the
relative opacity with which it operates on the web. The Lil Daggers Facebook
page, for example, features next-to-zero info in the “About” section, and there
doesn’t appear to be any actual photos of bandmembers, just fun/quirky random
images; likewise with the group’s Bandcamp and Tumblr pages, and the MySpace
account appears to have been vacated some time ago. We are told (via a press
release) that the group formed in Miami in 2008, has a 10″ EP and a 7″ split
single, and is a veteran of South By Southwest and various regional festivals,
but that’s about it. 


In fact, the only direct evidence Lil Daggers even exists
comes via YouTube videos, which are admittedly compelling in their own right,
such as the performance clip for “Dead Golden Girls,” below, a brooding slice
of VU-informed garage-drone that’s one of the standout tunes on the self-titled
debut.  (At the end of this review
there’s another video, for LP track “Dada Brown,” this one given a more
cinematic, noirish treatment.)





That’s good enough for yours truly, though, particularly
with the aforementioned album in hand, and one can only hope that the band
figures out a way to reach a wider audience ‘cos this stuff’s for real, Steel. Lil Daggers bursts straight outta the gate with “Wasting,” a
tough-as-nails slice of minor-key thrum ‘n’ dissonance reminiscent of classic
early ‘90s Hole. That’s followed in short succession by the Nuggets-worthy, organ-powered three-chord
stomper “Slave Exchange” and the eerie, acoustic-guitars-and-tambourine gothic
twang of “Pignose.” And so it goes across 11 uncomplicated but utterly
compelling tracks, mini-vignettes outlining the oddities/horrors of modern life
– the aforementioned “Dead Golden Girls” is all creeping dread and implied
retribution for some unspecified foray into the transgressive – and culminating
with the darkly claustrophobic “Strange Wolf,” which suggests an unholy
marriage of Syd Barrett’s fractured fairy tales to Brian Jones’ doomed blooze.


It may seem like a horrible cliché to advise readers to do “whatever
it takes” to track down this record; after all, it’s not necessarily going to
change your life, and there are hundreds others of worthy contenders already
lodged in the local record store bins, awaiting your attention. But there’s
enough glinty-eyed psychedelic soul and cranium-crunching garage rock going on
here to make the effort pay off, in spades. Get crackin’, kids.


Golden Girls,” “Pignose,” “Wasting” FRED MILLS


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