Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Album Review: EP 2 by Dragged In (by Robyn Pierce)

Dragged In is a hardcore punk band from Toronto made up of five guys who seem to share a love of tight, heavy riffs, and original Ranch dressing. This is the second of two EPs that Dragged In released last year, and while their sound is hard and in-your-face on both releases – the blending of hardcore with other elements from skate punk, grunge and thrash metal seems more apparent on this second offering. The result is some fist-pumping, pit-spinning melodic hardcore, occasionally slowing down to some thick, body-rocking grooves.

EP 2 opens with smouldering, grungy guitar which rumbles over even-toned words spoken in the background. It’s not easy to hear what’s being said here, but this opening on ‘Burning Inside’ sounds like a declaration of self-determination that’s just waiting to be kicked into high gear. As expected, you don’t have to wait long before this smouldering intro is fanned into some fiery drums and guitar blasting out at breakneck speed. Patty’s raspy and biting vocals compel you to ‘stay focused’, ‘dig deeper’, and ‘push harder’ – to ‘keep the fire’ of passion or righteous anger that’s burning inside of you. This rousing opening leads into ‘Until it Kills’, which bursts open with a rich and guttural chord progression. Once again, Patty vows to ‘keep fighting’ and to ‘keep digging deeper’ to achieve his goals. At this point, the EP begins to focus on the theme of finding the personal strength to fight against external forces which seek to silence, oppress or exploit, and Dragged In do a good job of leading the charge.

The third track on Dragged In’s EP 2, ‘Absolute’, is a steady and intense song beginning with some beautifully blown-out bass that’ll definitely kick up a crowd into a wild, twisting circle-pit. Here, the band pushes back against ‘absolute’ opinions, posing the question: ‘what if you’re wrong?’ Following this, ‘Stand Strong’ is powerful and uplifting – treating us, once again, to some thick and juicy chord progressions in a fist-pumping, crowd-yelling song about staying true to yourself and not buckling under the pressure of the status quo. EP 2 then finishes up with the hulking groove of ‘Get Low’, which feels like one long, awesome breakdown where everyone can hang their heads and sway along to the lines: ‘I don’t think we can get sink much lower than this’ and join in the chant of ‘get low, real low!’. This song rounds off the EP nicely, allowing you to stretch and regroup after the four previous high-speed tracks.

In true hardcore tradition, you’ll get through these five songs in less than 15 minutes but finish up the EP feeling satisfied. As a whole, Dragged In’s EP 2 is energetic, brash and empowering; perfect to listen to when you want to blow off steam, pick yourself up and keep going.

Stream and download EP 2 here: https://draggedin.bandcamp.com/album/ep-2

Like Dragged In here: https://www.facebook.com/draggedin/

This review was written by Robyn Pierce.