Album Review: Dragster – “Anti-Everything”
Having previously made their name as a group of horror B-movie fixated gorehound punks, Coventry natives Dragster’s previous album, 2014’s “Dead Punk” saw them push their sound in a heavier direction, with a newfound political conscience to match. Although still a good effort, it did feel a bit like the band were kind of tentatively dipping their toes into new waters at times, making it a little bit patchy quality-wise. Now on album number four, “Anti-Everything” sees them pushing the heaviness envelope even further, but balancing things a bit better as well to make for a more assured sounding effort.
Given the way things have gone in this country in the last four years, you can’t blame Dragster for pushing the political leanings first aired on “Dead Punk” even further to the fore on “Anti-Everything”, and the ferocious likes of “One Bad Cop” and the anti-consumerism diatribe “Burn It Clean” showcase a band that have grown into this skin a bit more comfortably since last time. The thrashy likes of “Enemies”, “Spit It Out” and “Drone Pilots” see them ramp up the vitriol even further, with the latter almost being GBH/Discharge level heavy.
The evolution here isn’t just in the lyrics though – the pounding tribal drums of “Vultures Circle” and the big gang chant chorus of “United Decay” show a band with a few new tricks up their sleeve and executing them well. The driving “Tokyo Joe” and “Charmed To The Teeth” meanwhile show a Motorhead influence creeping in with the frenetic riffs and impressive tightness backing Fi’s scowling vocals well, while the closing “Broken By Design” is a well-placed DM boot in the gonads of the zombie government currently sending this country to hell in a three-wheeled handcart.
Ferocious, frenetic and growing in strength and confidence all the time, Dragster are improving at an impressive rate and “Anti-Everything” is their strongest offering to date. With this and the new Bar Stool Preachers album, August has been a pretty good month for new punk releases all told.
While "Dead Punk" was arguably the sound of a band breaking into new territory, "Anti-Everything" sees Dragster firmly planting their flag with a tight and assured set of brutally angry political punk. Fi and the boys have definitely come into their own on this effort and if they keep improving at this rate, there's every reason to believe Dragster are well on their way to becoming leading lights of the British punk scene.