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I Hear Sparks: Cloak/Dagger – Lost Art

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Earthy, mucky and entirely satisfying, Cloak/Dagger’s Lost Art revs with garage punk vigour and beer-soaked filth. It is an ugly van of a record, pulsating with a sort of sick satisfaction and creepy, dirty glee.

Cloak/Dagger formed in October of 2006 and slapped together a demo within one month. Since then, the band has two seven-inches and a debut LP called We Are to call their own. With their second full-length, Lost Art, the quartet jams through their brand of fast, unsightly, insanely sincere music with the vast energy of a half dozen midget prostitutes on crack, blindly obliterating everything in their path with thoughtless delight.

It is that blind attention to destruction that makes Lost Art such a fun record to blow through.

The songs come quickly and energetically, leaving no punk/garage rock stone unturned. Boasting an adamant quality that is reminiscent of that uncomfortable but astonishingly, f**king cool kid from school that always ran around in sleeveless T-shirts smelling of scotch at ten in the morning, Lost Art is 13 tracks of shit that’ll piss off the ‘rents.

Led by Jason Mazzola unpolished vocals, Cloak/Dagger have locked up the faded, raw sense of things. Guitarist Colin Barth is downright venomous in his delivery, cranking out riffs that draw memories of John Reis and Black Flag’s Greg Ginn. Bassist Matthew Michel and drummer Colin Kimble round out Cloak/Dagger with their modest, unstable rhythmic attack.

Lost Art unpacks a series of energetic, hyperactive songs that work due to their utter plainness. There’s no studio magic and no lame overproduced puff at all; Cloak/Dagger approach things with an honesty and ache that’s hard to beat.

“Dead Idols” cranks with Mazzola’s chaotic vocals. “My heroes aren’t my heroes anymore and I’m ashamed they ever were,” he shouts over the band’s punching pace. And Barth lays out a swift riff on “Deathbed Rebels,” injecting the track with a fearless foundation while Mazzola staggers and spits.

“Eyes on the Wall” and the record’s title track emerge as some of the band’s more coated cuts, but they never lose their inborn turbulence despite deepening and expanding their sound.

Lost Art is a gem of a punk/hardcore/garage rock record. It stands as a piece of grubby, righteously crude collection of quick-hitters and instils just the right quantity of punkish wrath and dangerous, window-smashing fun into every single track. Thanks to their unbending attitude and hollering swagger, Cloak/Dagger has fittingly pieced together another grimy, fucking glorious mess of a record.

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About Jordan Richardson