Dag Nasty, Can I Say

Mark Jenkins

By Mark Jenkins

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
They may have been too bratty to be emo, but they still built the template for much of the genre.

Maybe this band was too bratty to be "emo," but guitarist-songwriter Brian Baker's post-Minor Threat outfit built the template for much subsequent pop-punk. In part because Dave Smalley's vocals are more urgent than those of his successor, this debut is the better of the quartet's two Dischord albums. (A third was released on another label before Baker, now of Bad Religion, took a shot at major-label metal). With their immediacy tempered by simple, rousing harmonies, songs like "Circles" hint at what Minor Threat would have sounded like if Ian MacKaye had accepted Baker's drift toward mainstream rock.