Fri. Nov 27th, 2020

REVIEW: Dragged Under – The World Is in Your Way

Life has a nasty tendency to drag us under every once in a while. The force majeure imposed by the pandemic notwithstanding, lately, we’ve been dragged under by social media, the news, and cancel culture in particular. It might almost seem as though the world was trying to pull you down, only to suggest that the only person you can rely on is yourself. Hey, doesn’t that sound just like an old-school punk sentiment? DIY or die? Yes, it does. It’s also the sentiment conveyed by the name of the Seattle punk rockers, DRAGGED UNDER. The band will be releasing a deluxe version of their debut album ”The World Is in Your Way,” with two bonus tracks, ”Just Like Me” and ”Feel It,” via their new home Mascot Records on November 13th, 2020. While everything around us seems to conspire to give off a sense of an inevitable failure, these punks radiate with confidence that there’s still some progress to be made – most likely by ourselves. What better way is there to drive the point home, but by striking an elusive balance between thrashed-up punk, pit-splitting hardcore, alternative metal, and anthemic pop hooks?

The album opens with a somewhat pop-punkified That’s the Spirit-era BRING ME THE HORIZON vibe on the opening track, ”The Real You,” what with the anthemic sing-along chorus and a strong, personal bent to the lyrics, belted out by turns in metalcore and skate-punk style. There’s something highly contagious in this mix. The band has a golden ear for catchy melodies, which might just explain for all the acclaim and the seven million streams to date.

The fourth track on the album gives something away in its title, ”Here For War.” The key recipe for the band’s punky earworms seems to be: uplifting chord progressions, conducted with an almost unlikely precision for a true punk outfit, and lyrics that read like a call to arms for the modern-day mall-rats and slackers. One of the things that separates us mortals is our sense of how feasible it might be to change the world. DRAGGED UNDER is definitely not about adjusting the lounge chairs on the deck of a sinking Titanic. Ever since the golden era of punk in the late 1970s, the camouflage-trousered and bullet-belted outliers seem to have had an inherent bias towards the impression that the status quo has forever been settled. These Seattle punks carry on this fine legacy with just the right attitude.

For an old-school crustie, ”The World is in Your Way” might sound a bit too metal-tinged and bubblegum, but if you lived through the 1990s on a steady diet of GREEN DAY, BAD RELIGION, and BLINK-182 as a side dish to the metal bands of the era, these Seattle punks might just rub you the right way. Millennials, who have been indoctrinated to this sect of music through mother’s milk by bands such as MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, GOOD CHARLOTTE, and SUM 41, shouldn’t have any problems with getting their head around the album. It manifests all the best virtues of the new wave of pop punk with a hint of metalcore. In a true punk fashion, it also postulates that we should remain forever confident of our personal power to join the stream of history and, however modestly, to change its course. It’s a never-ending struggle whether to stand out or fit in. Then again, we could just as well try both, simultaneously, like DRAGGED UNDER magnificently did on ”The World is in Your Way.”

Written by Jani Lehtinen
Musicalypse, 2020

Tracklist

  1. The Real You
  2. Hypochondria
  3. Roots
  4. Here For War
  5. Instability
  6. Chelsea
  7. Covered in Sin
  8. Riot
  9. The Hardest Drug
  10. Feel It
  11. Just Like Me

Lineup

Tony Cappocchi – vocals

Ryan Bruce – guitar

Sean Rosario – guitar

Hans Hessburg – bass

Kalen Anderson – drums

Label

Mascot Label Group

Links

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