Jim Ward

Daggers

Written by: PP on 10/10/2021 13:14:57

For those not in the know, Jim Ward is an iconic figure within the origins of the post-hardcore movement. He's not only a co-founding member of the legendary At The Drive-In, but he has also released seminal records under the Sparta moniker at the beginning of the 2000s, the latest of which, "Trust The River", was released last year. He has previously released several solo EPs and a full-length "Quiet In The Valley, On The Shores The End Begins" more than ten years ago.

For his sophomore solo album "Daggers" he has enlisted the help of Incubus bassist Ben Kenney and Thursday drummer Tucker Rule, making the record a supergroup release of sorts. No wonder then that it sounds this brilliant as a result. Where the last Sparta album "Trust The River" was primarily geared around ambient indie-rock, "Daggers" combines visceral post-hardcore with soaring, stadium-sized anthems, throwing in extensive punk rock influence as an additional good measure.

Opener "Day By Day" and "I Got A Secret" are both examples of the latter. High-tempo, high-energy onslaughts of semi-clean, scratchy vocals that are infectiously catchy in the process. But where "Daggers" blows you away is on the awe-inspiring "Blink Twice". This, if anything, is a post-hardcore highlight this year given its expansive riffs and emotionally charged, lofty vocal delivery. Elsewhere, "Keep On Failure" offers soothing, laid-back atmospherics that recalls the aforementioned Sparta record to an extent, whereas the pop-rockish "Electric Life" and the lofty "Polygraph (attack)" draw U2-style massive stadium soundscapes into the mix.

Central to all of it working seamlessly together is Jim Ward's brilliant vocal performance. He can take us from the heights of echoing festival arenas to intimate clubs from one song to the next without compromising on the overall stylistic vibe of the record. Accompanied by crunchy riffs and a sufficient urgency and conviction in his pipes, the result is one of the most wonderful coalesces of alternative rock and post-hardcore I've heard in a long while.

Throughout ten tracks of the record, Jim Ward delivers infectious anthems, raw punk rock aggression, and just about everything in between with incredibly consistent quality. It's the kind of record that relies solely on the basics to deliver an array of awesome songs that will end up near the top rankings of best of 2021 lists come December this year.

Download: Blink Twice, Day By Day, Keep On Failure, Paper Fish, I Got A Secret, Foreign Currency
For the fans of: Sparta, U2, Far, Thrice, At The Drive-In
Listen: Facebook

Release date 11.06.2021
Dine Alone Records

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