DASHER: Sodium: CD/LP

It seems a bit odd to have a label like Jagjaguwar (known for such acts as Bon Iver) to put out a dark, heavy punk album, but here it is. And it’s good! Fronted by drummer/vocalist Kylee Kimbrough, her vocals match the rhythm of every pounding drum and crashing cymbal. The album is loud, with grooving, fuzzy guitar and thundering bass. (It’s nice to be able to hear the bass for once in a band and have it used in a way that is important in the music.) Over the course of these eleven songs and thirty-two minutes, I hear early grunge—other times the groove of gloomy British acts such as Joy Division—but mostly it’s Amphetamine Reptile bands from the 1990s. Kimbrough’s vocals alternate between forceful utterances and full-throated hardcore screams, giving Dasher a range of sound that is absolutely crushing. Given the label, Sodium is a surprising, but welcome album. –Kurt Morris (Jagjaguwar)