Daggerplay are fans of punk in all its iterations. The Finnish four-piece are — like most of the punk greats — known for their energetic live shows and keen ear for the cultural music movements of the past. Subterranean Reality is the band’s second studio album and a celebration of punk in variation.
Whether it’s The Clash-inspired ska riffs (“Black River”), or a celtic Irish energy (“Kilburn Highroad”), or their own brand of anthemic, guitar-driven upbeat melodies (“Cruel Wind Blowing”, “NW2”), there is no question that Daggerplay are a diversely talented group. Only one track on the record clocks at more than four minutes, creating a shifting, fluid energy throughout.
Short as the songs may be, they are jam packed with guitar solos, as on the noisy “Four Walls”, high octane shifts, and relatable moments of songwriting. “One Mile Town” dives into the feeling of being a big energy in a small place, “living the same day over again”. The urgency is clear.
It is the moments in which Daggerplay push at the boundaries of what they do that they are strongest. With the help of Damian Cullen on vocals, “Kilburn Highroad” is the most adventurous track, rooted near the middle of the record and kicking off the second half.
While the whole album screams “this would be great live”, the recordings did a fantastic job of capturing the energy of Daggerplay — and if this is the range of variety they can sport on a sophomore release, then whatever comes next comes highly anticipated.