Double Dagger

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Double Dagger
Origin Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Genres Post-punk
Years active 2002–2011
Labels Stationary (Heart), Hit-Dat Records, Thrill Jockey Records, Toxic Pop, Terra Firma LTD
Website Official Site

Double Dagger was a post-punk trio from Baltimore, Maryland[1] composed of only drums, vocals, and a very loud bass guitar which fills the space a guitar would normally take. Vocalist Nolen Strals[1] and bassist Bruce Willen also comprised the graphic design team Post Typography, which has done work for some very high-profile clients, including the New York Times.[1] Hence, Double Dagger made a habit of referring to their style of post-hardcore as "graphicdesigncore" early in their career. In October 2011, Double Dagger broke up after a small final tour. Their final EP 333 was released in April 2013 alongside a documentary of their final tour, entitled If We Shout Loud Enough.[2][3]


Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen had previously been in a group called League of Death, which was initially conceived as a heavy metal outfit, but later became a hardcore band.[4] League of Death broke up in 2002 after a final show with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, giving rise to Double Dagger, as a self-described "graphicdesigncore" band, with several songs referencing design and typographic elements on their first releases (the band itself was named after the typographic symbol ‡, used for footnotes).[5][6] Brian Dubin joined the new band as a drummer, and played on the bands' first few recordings, including their self-titled debut album. He left in 2005 and was replaced by Denny Bowen,[1] then of Yukon, formerly of the band Economist, with whom Double Dagger had released a split single in 2003.[6]

During their 9-year run, Double Dagger played with a number of high-profile acts, including Pere Ubu, Lightning Bolt, The Ex, The Buzzcocks, The Jesus Lizard, and Matt & Kim.[2] They have released several EPs, 7" singles, and three full length albums. The band earned considerable critical praise as well, as evinced by positive reviews in publications such as The Washington Post,[1] Punk Planet, Baltimore City Paper[3] and Rolling Stone.[1] Citing time restraints and "chaotic personal lifes," Double Dagger announced they would break up following a brief tour of the eastern United States, and a final show in their hometown of Baltimore.[7] Bowen currently appears in Roomrunner and performs live with Dan Deacon and Future Islands, Willen appears in Peals alongside of William Cashion of Future Islands, and Strals appears in Pure Junk and Second Best Westerns.[2][3]

Past members[edit]

  • Nolen Strals: Vocals
  • Bruce Willen: Bass
  • Denny Bowen: Drums
  • Brian Dubin: Drums (2002-2004)
  • Lee Ashlin (The Fuses), Sean McGuiness (Pissed Jeans), and Ben Valis (Stars of the Dogon) have all performed with Double Dagger at various live shows



Singles and EPs[edit]

  • Alt+0135 (Self Released 2002)
  • Art School Girlfriend/Obey the One Trick Pony' (Hit-Dat Records 2003, split with Economist)
  • Luxury (Self Released 2006, cassette only)
  • Luxury (Self Released 2007, CDR of four tracks from Ragged Rubble recordings)
  • Bored Meeting 7" (Toxic Pop 2008)
  • Sophisticated Urban Living 7" (Terra Firma Limited 2008)
  • Masks (Thrill Jockey Records 2010)
  • 333 (Thrill Jockey Records 2013)



  1. ^ a b c d e Malitz, David (October 18, 2011). "An exit interview with Double Dagger". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Essner, Dean (April 18, 2013). "Double Dagger frontman Nolen Strals talks about the legendary punk band's new documentary". The Diamondback. Retrieved March 22, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Weigel, Brandon (April 24, 2013). "Baltimore's post-punk heroes hang up the glyph and launch new musical adventures". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Double Dagger: Drawing a thin, jagged line between post-punk and graphic design". The A.V. Club. July 9, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ Erard, Michael (April 25, 2013). "Like a Lead Balloon". The Morning News. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Szeto, Greg (March 18, 2009). "Interview / Audio Premiere: Double Dagger (w/ Bruce Willen, Denny Bowen, Nolen Strals)". Aural States. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 
  7. ^ Maza, Erik (September 14, 2011). "Double Dagger breaks up after nine years". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 14, 2016. 

External links[edit]