Daggermouth Deliver Influential West Coast Pop Punk This Weekend in St. John’s
The mid-late 2000s marked an interesting point in punk. While many hardcore punk bands began their metamorphosis into metal-leaning outfits, there was also a distinct wave of kids who grew up on a hearty diet of chewing Fat Records through a mouthful of bubblegum pop punk. These kids, well fed on the 90s teenage angst of post-grunge punk, would roll up some carpet from a melodious memory lane, tack it together with the waxy resin left over from a preceding skate punk explosion, and swing it with the brute force of their hardcore contemporaries.
Though some of the seminal bands of this era were short lived, many left behind albums that would long outlast the expiration date of their MySpace pages. Many of these bands would also hold up better than some of the Warped Tour vets that came before them.
In Canada, this lasting imprint could be no better exemplified than by the albums Stallone and Turf Wars released by West Coast punks Daggermouth. Hailing from Vancouver, Daggermouth dropped their only two albums within the tight period of 2006 and 2007. By 2008 the band had declared an indefinite break from all activity.
After a near decade-long hiatus, the band that once called quintessential Canadian punk label Smallman Records home have arisen from their shallow resting bed for a warmly welcomed celebratory return.
Though Daggermouth never made it to this peak of the East Coast during their tour-savvy heyday, the influence of Stallone and Turf Wars stretched farther than their tour van would take them. When the Daggermouth albums landed in places like St. John’s, they left impactful craters. All you have to do is look at the burst of hardcore pop punk bands in St. John’s in the few years that followed, and you can clearly see an East Coast counterpart to what was running strong out West. From Over The Top to I Was A Skywalker, you’d be hard-pressed to find many of the pop punks of that Newfoundland era that didn’t have a Daggermouth album heavily in rotation.
“Of all the bands we looked up to in high school, Daggermouth were one of our favourites” admits Glen May in reference to his younger years with I Was A Skywalker. “Someone once called us a Kid Dynamite rip-off, but if anything we were trying to emulate Daggermouth more than any Dan Yemin project.”
May will be sharing the stage with Daggermouth as apart of Pockethands, a local pop punk outfit coming out of its own short period of inactivity. Pockethands is comprised of all former members of I Was A Skywalker.
“At some point we had probably learned how to play every song off of Stallone, and I’m sure some of that seeped into our songwriting for Pockethands” says May.
Coming at the tail of a summer-long reunion run that kicked off at Pouzza Fest in Montreal, Daggermouth in St. John’s sure as hell wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the folks at No Sleep Productions.
“The first Daggermouth song I heard was “Lassie’s Last Dance” and it made me want to write fast hard hitting punk music with my friends more than ever before” says No Sleep Production’s Lucas Ellsworth, who will also be playing as apart of Rough Surf.