Double Dagger embodies the contradictions of the fair-yet-blighted city they call home: visceral, raw, cacophonously loud, yet with unexpected moments of clarity, humor, and revelation. Live, Double Dagger’s stripped-down musical line-up, consisting solely of bass, drums, and vocals, somehow manages to sound like a stage-full of musicians. Drummer Denny Bowen hammers the drums with such force that bassist Bruce Willen must employ four amps to match his volume. Singer Nolen Strals wades into, out of, and sometimes on top of the audience, channeling a dynamic energy that often has the three musicians dripping with sweat by the second song.
Music reviewers have compared Double Dagger to (in alphabetical order) Antelope, At The Drive In, Big Black, Black Dice, Black Eyes, Black Flag, Broken Social Scene, Butthole Surfers, The Buzzcocks, Cop Shoot Cop, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, Death From Above, The Death Set, Dischord Records, The Dismemberment Plan, Dylan Thomas, Explosions In The Sky, The Fall, The For Carnation, Fucked Up, Fugazi, Gang of Four, Green Day, Happy Mondays, Health, Henry Rollins, The Hold Steady, HŸsker DŸ, Japandroids, Japanther, Jesus Lizard, Joy Division, June of ’44, Karp, Led Zeppelin, Les Savy Fav, Liars, Lightning Bolt, Lungfish, Manic Street Preachers, Mika Miko, Minor Threat, The Minutemen, Mission Of Burma, Mudhoney, The New Flesh, New Order, Nirvana, No Age, No Trend, Parts & Labor, Pavement, The Pixies, Ponytail, Presidents of the United States of America, Q And Not U, The Ramones, Rites of Spring, Sebadoh, Shellac, Six Finger Satellite, Sonic Youth, Steve Reich, Stiff Little Fingers, Suicidal Tendencies, Swell Maps, The Talking Heads, Unwound, Volcano Suns, Weezer, The White Stripes, Wilderness, and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, among others.
While this description is generally apt, Double Dagger continues to push the boundaries of what some critics have dubbed agit punk, angry pop, art punk, art rock, DIY, future shock, genre bending, genre defying, grunge, hardcore, heavy metal, In Utero-era noise, indie, indie rock, left field rock-n-roll, math-rock, metal, metallic funk, minimalist punk, minimalism, no wave, noise, noisy pop, political pop, political punk, pop punk, pop/punk, post-grunge, post-hardcore, post-pop, postpunk, post-punk, post-rock, punk rock in the purist form, punk, quasi-punk, rock, thrash, unclassifiable, or underground music.