Daggerplay: Finnish punk rock outfit combines rock 'n' roll with power pop and punk on latest album, 'Subterranean Reality'


Finnish punk rock band Daggerplay formed in Helsinki towards the end of 2011.  A combination of punk rock enmeshed in a classic rock ‘n’ roll vibe and power pop, the band has played over hundreds of gigs.  Their live shows are known to be high energy performances with lots of dancing, head banging, and fist throwing. 

Their sophomore album, Subterranean Reality, which was released in October 2018, is a fun-loving retro work that harnesses a rock ‘n’ roll appeal for the ages.  The music is a requisite for fans of Social Distortion, Rancid, The Ramones, and The Clash. 

Daggerplay carries the torch for their legendary predecessors with music that is pivotal with melodious guitars and wild vocals.  A melee of guitars and untamed vocals, the collective sound is a series of free-flowing anthems. 

Busy guitars, a rhythmic bassline, and insane drums make the makeshift of this record.  The album unfolds with “Cruel Wind Blowing” where the collective guitars are played loud, creating an ostentatious wall of sound and on “Don’t Give Up” that has a sugary upbeat feel filled with revving guitars that is reminiscent of 90’s era of punk rock.

These are mighty songs.  Daggerplay throws their full weight into these tracks, mixing angst and emotion, eventually culminating with an album that is high-tail full of energetic anthems.  This is especially true on the opener “Red Sky” where peels of guitars rage into the wind on this purely instrumental interlude, on the great dose of punk energy found on “Days Like These” where the vocals sing tirelessly toward the chorus a mantra of positivity of never giving up, “days like these knock me down get back on my feet/track me down somehow get back on my feet,” on “Kilburn Highroad” where the singing is shouted in moments of pure spirit and the music is a whirlwind of fast-paced energy, and on “NW2” that features vocals that are spewed out with enthused shouts throughout the song and the guitars are boisterous, loud, and exciting. 

With a tireless and psyched sound, evident on the record is an undiminished fervor that lasts throughout the album.  While most of the songs on this album are in the pop, indie rock, and punk tradition, some of the tracks aspire to a metal-infused cadence.  For example on the dark and temperamental track, “Black River” a subdued metal sense could be detected brimming with a catchy rage and on “Four Walls” that contains a gritty sound coming from the metal-tinged vocals.

A lot of these tracks are startling.  On “One Mile Town,” the song starts off quiet and then erupts into a full-on slaughter of electric guitars, bass, and drums as well as exuding a tropical/island flavor coming from the bongo beat, on the dynamic punk rock sound on “Afterlife,” and on “Girl, It’s Gonna Get Better Or Worse” which starts off with an acoustic guitar melody and then a full rock sound jumps through making for a fast-paced tune filled with riveting singing.

Unfiltered and exciting, I can’t wait to see these songs be performed live.  The raw energy coming off this record goes on to prove that Daggerplay’s live shows promises a great time with some instantaneous fun. 

The songs off Subterranean Reality will really pump you up for more.  Suited for audiences of the punk rock, traditional rock ‘n’ roll, and power pop genres, this is rousing music that jostles for your attention. 

Be sure you have a listen today!

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My Nguyen

My Nguyen is a CD reviewer from San Diego, CA. She regularly contributes to TheCelebritycafe.com. Her work has appeared in the following journals: Quietpoly, Community Voices, Espresso 1, The Whistling Fire, The Pedestal Magazine, The Straylight Magazine, Baby Lawn Literature, and Conceit Magazine.