Album Review: Dragster – “Dead Punk”
Barrelling out of Coventry with all the subtlety of a brick to the face, this is the second album from Dragster. Their debut, 2010’s Here Come The Meat Robots was a fast ‘n’ fun slice of punk rock with a fixation on gore movies and remains a bit of a lost classic in this reviewer’s opinion.
However, for album number two there’s been a definite hardening of the Dragster sound. Initially upon listening to Dead Punk, I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not – the sound of a group railing against old punks who refuse to evolve on the title track while sounding as if they’ve just stepped off a support slot with GBH and Vice Squad circa 1981 is a little bit ironic if you ask me. However, once Dragster manage to get some traction under their wheels, they manage to steer this album towards being decent enough.
There’s a vicious political anger that’s crept into Dragster’s sound since their debut, and the band they remind me a lot of now is actually Obsessive Compulsive, which is no bad thing. The slow-building fury of Cattle Prod and the ferocious Death By A Thousand Cuts and Skull Ring could easily have featured on OC’s Seculo Seculorum album from last year with the scathing anger of the lyrics and the ferocity of the riffs.
Dragster only really let themselves down when they stick a bit too closely to the punk template for their own good, occasionally the thrashier songs suffer from being a bit samey. But there’s enough good intentions and focused fury here to make this album worth a listen.
Hand on heart, I did prefer Dragster's debut, but Dead Punk is a solid follow-up. The only slight problem is it could maybe do with a bit more variety in places, but overall it's a good effort and their growing political conscience only helps things along by taking on issues a lot of other bands would happily duck. Definitely worth a listen if this sort of thing floats your boat.