Florida’s Lil Daggers have been on the festival circuit for a couple of years now, gathering respect and fans everywhere they go (one notable accolade comes from whiteguyswithbeards.com, who stated that they’re “like Elvis Costello would have sounded like if he was on Miami Vice”).
Though ripe with Southern swag and charisma, Daggers extend an assortment of genres and sounds on their debut full length for Livid Records, from rock ‘n’ roll to garage to psychedelic trip rock, progressive punk, funk, and beyond. There are times where they attempt Deerhunter-like ballads (“Ghost Herd”, “Pair Of Lives”), Jack White-induced grunginess (“Give Me The Pill”, “Slave Exchange”), and go balls to the wall with hard-hitting anthems. To be smug, they offer fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Lil Daggers is a relatively short LP, running just barely over 33 minutes, but its various shapes and sizes are ample. It’s been labeled by most as “druggy” for its resemblance to ’60s rock ‘n’ roll psychedelic outfits, and while that’s a fairly astute observation, Lil Daggers imply more than just acid trips and mushroom escapades. They are not a jam band: Their songs are brief, and they don’t exercise weird instrumentation or experimentalism. Rather, they use vintage keyboards and exercise impressive bass riffs, sultry guitar drones, and heavy drum rhythms.
This is sweaty stuff. It brings to mind hot, sweltering days – boring afternoons, to be precise – where there’s little to do but drink and smoke. It’s very southern in its sensibilities, which they opt to embrace, and its full of raw ambition. Whether they’re aggressive or subtle, quiet or in your face, the overall premise of Lil Daggers is nothing but swag. That works, right?