ALBUM REVIEW: Dragged Under – The World Is In Your Way
Seattle underground punk rockers Dragged Under have made big waves in a short amount of time. The band was formed from the wreckage of Rest, Repose by vocalist Tony Cappocchi and guitarist Ryan “Fluff” Bruce (known for his hugely successful guitar and gear YouTube channel). The duo were joined by guitarist Sean Rosario, bassist Hans Hessburg and drummer Kalen Anderson before getting to work on the self-release of their debut full length album, The World Is In Your Way, back in January. Now towards the back end of this car crash of a year, the band now have the backing of Mascot Records have lined up a deluxe edition re-release, complete with two brand new songs.
Dragged Under are a band that pay attention to the details. Right from the first note on opener The Real You, the influence of Fluff’s background comes to the forefront of the band’s sound, with a tone from himself and Rosario that will have the guitar aficionados salivating and with riffs are designed to crack necks and spin pits. The bass sound from Heesburg is equally as satisfying and ties in perfectly with the perfectly mixed, technically impressive drum work of Anderson. The vocal range of Cappocchi is one of the group’s biggest assets and that is on display right out of the gate, blending soaring melodies with unbridled aggression to make sure that there’s something for everyone.
Roots is one of the highlights of the album and the reasoning is very simple; the hook is colossal and the energy is through the roof. The riffs once again are front and centre as the band delves deep into their bag of tricks once more. This is the kind of music that you can lay back and picture people two-stepping and stage diving. Not only that, the message behind the song is a poignant one tackling vanity and the modern way of living, the shallowness and lack of morality in the common man’s attempt to get famous, rather than working hard work and determination.
Dragged Under aren’t all about the heavy instrumentals though and that is shown perfectly in the song Chelsea, where they embrace a more pop-punk sound. The change in pace is more than welcome and comes at the perfect time to break up the flow of the album and keep the audience guessing, rather than having things feel stale at any point.
The quintet then quickly dial back up the heavy and shift to a much more old school hardcore sound for Covered In Sin, showing just how seamlessly they can transition through the gears without losing any impact. The original penultimate track for the album, The Hardest Drug, sees the band flexing their muscles and delivering some of their heaviest moments to date. The rhythmic patterns are even more complex than normal and the vocal delivery is frantic, adding another level to the percussive feel in a way that would make most nu-metal vocalists take notice.
The first of the two new additions to the album, Feel It, is another pop-punk tune that sounds like latter day Sum 41 and is destined to be an ear worm, with it’s catchy hooks and well written lead guitar parts. However, it is the second of the two, Just Like Me, that is a stone cold banger. The swagger in the lyrics far outreaches the band’s years and the well constructed instrumentals are amongst the most memorable of the album.
In short, these two new additions would have fit perfectly onto the original release and probably didn’t merit a completely new release. However, this is a perfect introduction to a wider audience, now that Dragged Under have the backing of their new label and the means to get themselves in front of a greater amount of people. This album was well received when it first dropped in January and now, at the back end of the year (that went to hell pretty much immediately after this release), has proved to be a pick me up that was very much needed.
Standout Tracks: Roots, Just Like Me
For Fans Of: Comeback Kid, Sum 41, Beartooth
Written by: Richard Webb