Review by Stuart Anderson / New Scheme Fanzine #6
After years apart, with members concentrating on other bands (Bad Religion, Down By Law, All), Dag Nasty announced their reformation last year. Rather than just reuniting to do a tour with half the original members, like so many other older punk bands, Dag Nasty did it right. This is the full lineup from their seminal "Can I Say" album. They got back together, and wrote a full album of new material, promising it would sound like their days from "Can I Say" and "Wig Out A Denko's". They recorded this at Inner Ear with Minor Threat bassist Steve Hansgen, and it sounds really fitting to Dag Nasty's sound, and true to their records in the late 80's. The songs themselves fall somewhere in between the songs on "Can I Say", and the more melodic, straight forward sound of the bands Brian and Dave have been in since Dag Nasty originally broke up. The more I listen to this though, the more it sounds like a continuation of their best material. It also grows on me even more with each listen. This has energy and enthusiasm, but also a ton of melody, and even a few slower songs. Some would call Dag Nasty one of the first bands to originate the idea of "emotional hardcore", which spawned the emo thing that was huge starting a couple years ago (and Spin just seems to have picked up on in really recently). Regardless of that, they were an important band, and perhaps risked doing damage to their memory with a half-assed reunion. But "Minority of One" is quite the opposite, it's a strong record in it's own right, and easily stands up to tall the hype surrounding it.
It starts off really strong with "Ghosts", which is one of the most straight forward and poppy songs on the record. The next two songs, the title track and "Bottle This", are two of the strongest songs on the record, both showing off the incredible range of Dag Nasty's sound. Perhaps my two favorites are one after another right after the middle of the record. "Throwing Darts" and "White Flag" bring to mind "Can I Say" more than anything else on the record. But they're also the most powerful songs here. Dave Smalley's vocals are as strong as ever, and Brian Baker's guitar work is unmistakable at this point. Hopefully this will satisfy old time Dag Nasty fans, as well as turning on a whole new crowd to one of the best hardcore or punk rock bands of the last twenty years. "Minority of One" is as good, or better than anyone could have hoped. Revelation
Review by Oliver Greenlaw
Having been a punk rocker all my life and coming out of the D.C. straight-age scene of the 1980's, my ears crave the sounds that take me back to a better era of hardcore. Playing bass with the SF Bay Area-based "Tally Hoe", I can remember the sheer thrill of opening for Fugazi in Berkeley. Fast forward to 11 years later, and I hear Dag Nasty is back together with the original "Can I Say" lineup! Could this be for real? "Can I Say" has been a mainstay in my record rotation since its release, and while Dag Nasty will always be one my favorite bands of all time, it took me a while to get used to the mellower sounds of Peter's voice. "Minority of One" reminds me of why I love Dag Nasty. Dave Smalley, welcome back! We've missed you. I prepared myself to be disappointed with the new record. "Bottle This" has restored a little concept called "faith" back into my life. The song is classic Dag Nasty - brilliant melodic guitar chords over the driving bass line, aggressive drumming...and Dave! His vocals haven't lost a thing. The edge, the grittiness - its all there. I've already broken one CD player from playing "Bottle This, "Ghosts", "Incinerate" and another hardcore throwback, "Throwing Darts" over and over. "Can I Say" will always remain on my all-time favorite hardcore albums list, but "Minority of One" did not disappoint. In fact, its safe to say it put one big-ass smile on my face! It was so hard to see the animosity between Dave and Brian during the late 80's, because these guys have proved to be two talented motherfuckers who make beautiful music together! Bands have already benefited from their talents - DYS was amazing, and Bad Religion with Brian -what a great record - but Dag Nasty tops them all. Thank you, sirs - may I have another?
Review by Jason D. Taylor / All Music Guide
Minority of One happens to be D.C. punk legends Dag Nasty's first album in ten years, following the lackluster Four on the Floor EP released through Epitaph in 1992. Where Four on the Floor's production woes held these emocore originators from truly shining, Minority of One glows with fiery dedication to one's craft. Although it has been 16 years since Dag Nasty first came together, they seem to still have the spark that boosted them to such independent heights, as the songwriting and musical achievements captured on this album are stupendous. Straightforward, melodically enhanced punk rock at its best is heard on these 11 tracks. Dave Smalley's vocals still are as blunt and pleasing to the ear, and Brian Baker's melodic guitar melts the heart with its intense sincerity. Even after all the time apart, Dag Nasty has returned once again with an album that may be the most superior release in their career, and proves these musicians still are at the head of the pack, pulling on your emotions while moving the blood through one's veins; if only all emocore was this enjoyable and accessible.
Review by Christina Whitetrash / Fat Wreck Chords
Dag Nasty, Minority Of One, shitfire goddamn hallelujah I love this record! Every note, placed with care, every chord, played with heart, every beat down, timed perfectly and every melody, brilliant. Would the gentleman in the back with Mr. Baker please bend over? The Can I Say line up comes together again, by the looks of the studio log on their website www.daghouse.com, to purge themselves of a build up of genius, and maybe have a little fun in the process. Bless you Brian Baker, Dave Smalley, Colin Sears, and Roger Marbury. What have we, the masses of music junkies who need music to live, done to deserve such a joyous reunion? Remember when Descendents came back and brought fourth the magnificence that is Everything Sucks? We all, collectively, remembered what it was like, that first flutters of joy that transcended all the bullshit and made you feel alive, when you first heard music for the first time. Really heard the music, when it hit home, and became part of you, when it became stronger than the emotion it produced. I had moments with this record when I questioned why I was so overwhelmed, I went through a couple of days when I thought it sounded like shit, when it sounded like some bad demo brought to me at work, but then like a bad trip, everything turned around again, and I have come to this conclusion. Dag Nasty, Minority Of One, personification of aural emotion. Don't trust me, I'm a fucking hack, check it out for yourself, question priority.
Review by Carlo Gironi / Truepunk.com
After ten years since their latest album, "Four on the Floor" on Epitaph Records, the legendary Dag Nasty are back stronger than ever with Dave Smalley on vocals, Brian Baker on guitars, Roger Marbury on bass and Colin Sears on drums. And their new release "Minority Of One" is going to be one of those record that when you look back to 2002, you will surely remember. Produced by Steve Hansgen of Minor Threat and engineered at the Inner Ear Studios by Don Zientara, "Minority of One" gives you nothing but the best collection of hardcore songs you could want from you heroes, with great melodies, harmonies, aggression, passion, and sincerity. The album features some of the best tracks I ever heard from Dag Nasty, and it looks like years do not pass for them, they have still the energy they had when they were younger - "Ghosts", "Minority Of One" and "Incenerate" has some great blistering guitar riffs, harmonicous choruses and Dave's vocals at their best. "Bottle This" and "Twisted Again" has these slow mid-tempo melodies, while songs like "Wasting Away" and "Average Man" has those fast pissed chords that reminds me of the 80's. The whole 11 tracks make the album one of the best package of melodic hardcore you'll get to listen to this year, and I think that Dag Nasty did a job that is even better than what Bad Religion did with "The Process Of Belief", with the same attitude of the times they started. I believe that any kid that is used to the new school hardcore punk bands will gladly enjoy Dag Nasty and possibly "Minority of One" will create some interest towards those old works as "Can I Say", "Field Day" and "Wig Out at Denkos", which are now being re- released also by Dischord Records. "Minority of One" is one of the most anticipated albums of the latest few years, and it's clear to realize why: fundamental hardcore punks Dag Nasty are back!
Review by Mark Lechman / Idge Review
At first, I felt a great amount trepidation about buying the newest DAG NASTY record. As it stands, so-called "comeback" albums usually let me down after the novelty of heading back to my childhood fades away. 1992s FOUR ON THE FLOOR was fine and fun, but was really a fans-only kind of thing, a gift to the faithful, if you will. MINORITY OF ONE, as the band states, is NOT a "comeback" or "reunion" and I agree. As much as punks hate labels, I think a new category has to be created to fit this record into. Let's call it a "pickup" album, as in "let's pick this thing up where we left off, mother-fuckers."
Ironically, my initial feeling that this truly was a DAG NASTY record was blunted by my frustration with the maximum security shrink-wrap procedures featured on modern-day CDs. Vinyl and cassettes were always easier to open "back in the day."
Okay, so the CAN I SAY lineup is back, and the thin-line production of FOUR ON THE FLOOR has been avoided by having Brian work at the mixing board himself. But what about the songs?
Well, this really is a "pickup" album because the band sounds like it's back where they left off back in the mid-80s, while showing-off the growth that comes with a decade plus of growing up and moving on. No filler here. Just good old-school punk/emo/blah blah blah.
The record kicks off with the speedy and melodic GHOSTS, sounding a bit like a cross between classic DAG NASTY & mid- career BAD RELIGION. Brian Baker's guitars ring with the same melancholy of yore and his solos are as apt ever, having been toned down a bit during his tenure with the seemingly metal-phobic Greg Graffin. Great solos were always a signature trait of DAG NASTY's music. I don't know how many of you remember this, but in 1986, aside from perhaps BLACK FLAG's Greg Ginn, few punk guitarists could really create blazing and fiery guitar solos, partly because of punk's perpetual gene-pool of amateur musicians, and partly because of its legacy of disdain for technical proficiency. Thank God, these cutting and searing solos are back. The track BOTTLE THIS burns with teenaged 80s rage about (I'm guessing) the current state of "alternative" rock (i.e. pop music), complete with Dave Smalley's signature vocal rap, seething with the sound of struggle and frustration. The pace slows down a bit with tunes like BROKEN DAYS and WASTING AWAY (which are both fine tracks), sparking memories of FOUR ON THE FLOOR, but the in-your-face BOTTLE THIS, the reflective and powerful WHITE FLAG and the breakneck THROWING DARTS truly hark back to the classic sound of the band. At the same time, they don't necessarily tread the same old ground either. This is a good thing, because once a band stops growing you might as well just put on their old records and ignore any subsequent attempts at reclamation of former greatness. R.E.M. comes to mind.
Musically, the chops of DAG NASTY's rhythm section, Colin Sears & Roger Marbury, are better than ever and keep up perfectly with Brian and Dave's headfirst deliveries.
Every track here is solid and poignant, and grabs you with a punk rock force not heard in years. There is definitely fire in the music and Smalley's lyrics are infused with the usual "think about it for a minute" feeling that make the tracks vital to the disenfranchised and cautious. Of course, DAG NASTY show that their love for pure fun has not been forgotten with the inclusion of the "bonus track," a cover of GEN X's 100 PUNKS that rivals the original.
By the end of the record, MINORITY OF ONE leaves the listener with a sense of freshness and continuity rather than a limping sputter that so many 40-year old punkers seem to fall prey to. Next to 7 SECONDS' GOOD TO GO, this is the best new/old punk record I've heard since the 90s screwed everything up.
Verdict: Be not afraid. This is the real thing.
Review by organart.com
DAG NASTY the legendary Dischord band, are back and as good as ever with their first release in a decade. Minority of One features guitarist Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Minor Threat), vocalist Dave Smalley (All, Down By Law), bassist Roger Marbury and drummer Colin Sears. This new album was produced by Steve Hansgen (Minor Threat bassist) and Brian Baker, engineered at the infamous Inner Ear studios by Don Zientara. After a long period of dormancy Dag Nasty prove that the chemistry and the soul of their music is still there and precisely the reason why they still play it. Most people are familiar with Can I Say and Wig Out At Denkos [Dischord, 1986/1987 - recently re- mastered and re-issued] and Four On The Floor [Epitaph Records, 1992]. Dag Nasty's rich history and pedigree speaks for itself and Minority of One will only carry this tradition further.
Credited with helping to originate the "emo" sound and influencing many of today's top selling alternative artists [such as Green Day, Blink 182 and Saves the Day], Dag Nasty's presence is everywhere. Dag Nasty remain very influential to many people today, due primarily to the sincerity of their lyrics, and their blend of aggressive hardcore punk and melodic rock.
Minority of One opens with the blistering "Ghosts," an ode to times past with a melody that gets stuck in your brain and just doesn't seem to want to leave. Smalley's vocals soar on the harmonious chorus. The title track "Minority of One" hearkens back to the roots of the punk and DIY movements, daring listeners to stand out among the crowd and follow their own paths. The technical guitar riffing of "Bottle This" should make all the new-school hardcore kids happy, while the introspective and slow tempo of "Twisted Again" recalls dirge-type melodies of Bad Religion or Sham 69. This album is nothing short of a reawakening. It's like getting a call from an old friend you haven't heard from in years and realising that you had forgotten just how much you missed them. The songs are powerful, the recording is huge, and the lyrics and vocal delivery are as heartfelt as ever. Minority of One is Revelation Records most anticipated album in the labels 15 year history. With an album the entire staff is passionate about and behind, expect this to be the label's greatest achievement to date. Dag Nasty - "Minority Of One" to be released on Revelation on August 12th, 2002
Review by by Peter Atkinson / Meanstreet.com
"I don't want to play the reunion game with Dag Nasty," insists guitarist Brian Baker of the band's re-emergence after a 10-year hiatus. "We literally just made a record. Period." Said record is Minority of One, the first disc from the punk cult legends since their first "reunion" album, Four On The Floor, in 1992. Due Aug. 13 on Revelation Records, the bracing Minority will not be followed by a tour, special showcase gigs or even an album release blow out. It'll turn up on the shelves, then it's up to you to decide whether to snag a copy.
"We're not trying to market some product," Baker notes from a Warped Tour stop in Vancouver, where he was playing with Bad Religion. "This is a record we made for fun. We had a good time, it was a thrill to play with the guys again, which I think comes across on the album. But we're all too busy with other things to do anything more than this."
Baker's hands are full with Bad Religion, where he replaced founding guitarist Brett Gurewitz (who has since rejoined) in 1995. Vocalist Dave Smalley's been fronting Down By Law for more than a decade ‹ they're currently touring Europe. The band's other original members have more traditional day jobs: bassist Roger Marbury does film production work in Boston, drummer Colin Sears is an urban planner in Portland, Ore.
Though the foursome was only together for two years ‹ Baker formed Dag Nasty with Smalley in 1985 after leaving Minor Threat, Smalley left in 1987 to go to school in Israel ‹ they've kept in regular contact. "We started this band as friends and we still are," Baker said.
The new Nasty album took root about a year ago, when Sears proposed the idea to Baker. Once everyone was onboard, Baker put together the music, Smalley added the words and the band convened in Arlington, Va., and knocked out Minority in three weeks.
The results are a big improvement over Four On The Floor, which was a much more hasty endeavor.
"I put together the songs for that one in like 10 days from pieces of stuff I had laying around," Baker said. "I was really aware of making up for the last album's shortcomings, so I made a concentrated effort to sit down and write the songs. It was like a 9-to-5 job and I think the work paid off."
While Minority's vibrant melodic punk rabble might not seem especially revolutionary in 2002, Dag Nasty was one of the first East Coast bands to embrace that approach back in the day. And even though the band got lost in the shuffle of a D.C. hardcore scene that included Bad Brains and Fugazi, Dag Nasty's legacy and influence is undeniable.
Ever wonder what's up with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker's ever-visible "Can I Say" tattoo? It's the title of Dag Nasty's 1985 debut, whose pioneering style eventually became a cultural phenomenon.
"What we were doing was relatively unique, considering the bands we played with," said Baker. "We had slower songs and harmonies, our songs tended to be mid-paced and riff-based. If you want to say it was ahead of it's time, I won't disagree."
Review by RH / Juxtapoz.com
Minority Of One, Revelation Man, that Dag Nasty don't waste no time with the hooks- the first thing you hear after pressing play on the new Minority Of One LP is Smalley yelling "GHOSTS!"- and that was all I needed. I put the circa-1990 Sony Discman on "intro/repeat" and listened to the frist song continuously every day for a week. Finally, this past Sunday, I put myself to hearing the rest: hella many Brian Baker guitarisms, Dave Smalley's perfect pitch and eeem-forefather lyrics, plus Colin Sears and Roger Marbury laying down some heavy riddims... it's the Can I Say lineup in classic form. Speaking of, Dischord just re-released both Can I Say and Wig-Out At Denko's, so get your sonic updates in order. And everyone's other favorite Dag Nasty singer, Shawn Brown, is doing a new band called Jesuseater. So buy it up! 'Cause if it weren't for these fools, y'all would still be listening to Journey instead of Jimmy Eat World. Or maybe they're the same thing; I can't tell anymore. - RH
Review by Chris / Graynoise.net
A couple of months ago I did a little piece on Down By Law, one of Dave Smalley's follow up projects, probably his most ambitious one, after his first major success with Dag Nasty back in the eighties (his first band being DYS), so I won't recap too much of that here. However, it kind of goes without saying that Dag Nasty was one of the first influential old school hardcore bands, many these days might not know too much about them but that hardly leads to a conclusion of the band having little worth. The fact that modern big league bands, such as Good Riddance and AFI, often cite Dag Nasty as a major influence should point new fans of punk rock back to bands from that era.
But all of this is mere back-story, what you want to know is, "How the hell is this Dag Nasty reunion record?" To which I respond, "One of the best records of the year." Now, now, I know, you probably are sick of monikers like that, but I can't help it, it's true. And sure, you can't expect Dave and Brian and all the others to separate all their years of being in other bands and immediately jump back into the torn jeans and t-shirts of yesteryear without some residue of Down By Law or Bad Religion or any of the bands that this line-up has been involved in, but you can sit down to this record and listen to something that's rare, a good reunion album. And yes, this has been tried before, Four on the Floor, released by Epitaph in the early eighties, was referred to as a train wreck of an album by many critics. I don't necessarily agree with that, even if I do think that album was an un- consistent one, I mean Roger was a fun song, but it wasn't really a song that lived up to the talent of the band.
However, where Four on The Floor lacked the conviction and the poignancy of earlier Dag Nasty work, Minority of One triumphs. From pointed attacks on the evolution of a working stiff in our modern computer laden society in Average Man (which recall some of Dave's work on Down By Law's All Scratched Up and Last of The Sharpshooters Lp's), to the anger and frustration of dealing with the complications of life and relationships at the same time in Twisted Again.
But the album's high points for me are when the lyrics and music meld into a single plea for understanding and honesty in a world that seems to offer little of both. Broken Days combines hip anthemic guitar work and drum beats, in fact the guitar work seems similar to something Baker might have crafted for his first album with Bad Religion, The Gray Race. One might wonder if this is the style Brian was really thinking of then while he was entering new territory with Greg Graffin. Riding the melody of Baker's guitar Smalley's voice cries: "I keep turning the other cheek for you to slap me down, it hurts when the knife's in deep, but I won't make a sound."
The same emotional content is on the song White Flag when Smalley asks: "O.k. so here it is: I'm sorry I made mistakes, I'm not the only one I broke it down-can we build it back again?" Which is only one example of what has always made Dag Nasty great, they can paint a canvas with detailed metaphor to make a point, or they can simply grab you by the shoulders and say to you straight up, bullshit aside, what they want to say.
So the conviction and the honesty of past Dag Nasty albums has returned only with a slightly modified sound, Minority of One doesn't have the aural intensity of past Dag Nasty, but it easily makes up for it with the sheer lyrical intensity and melody that few albums can contain these days. I know many fans will dislike this album, hell many will probably despise it, but those are the few that refuse to let go of what once was, instead of embracing the spirit that is still embodied in great records like this.
Key tracks: Bottle This, Broken Days, White Flag, Twisted Again.
Review by Jack Rabid / galleryofsound.com / Big Takeover / Stereo-Type (Aug '02 issue)
Washington, D.C. punk legends Dag Nasty reunite for a second time and second LP since their breakup 14 years ago, once again reforming their original lineup featuring dynamic Dave Smalley on vocals along with Roger Marbury bass, Colin Sears drums, and ex-Minor Threat bassist/current Bad Religion mainstay, Brian Baker, on guitar.
But if you don't know any of that, that's fine, because Minority of One is easily the best LP this band has ever made out of their six, for all their old prowess. Tons better than the first reunion's yield, 1992's scattershot, less inspired or focused Four on the Floor, Minority of One gets it right in near-shocking fashion. For starters, the band goes back into Inner Ear studios, their Dischord-era haunt, with original Dischord wizard engineer Don Zientara. Second, perhaps seven years of Bad Religion whipsaw playing have weaned the talented Baker off the slightly irritating minor metalisms he inserted into otherwise fine vintage Dag Nasty material. And then there's Smalley, who also turns in his finest effort, so many LPs later. Clearly inspired by the quality of the material and playing, his mixture of sober, believable words with emotional, always-soaring vocals makes this a tour-de-force! Invoking The Godfathers' mantra, "Birth, School, Work, Death," to evoke how easy it is to "waste away" also scores points.
Finally, for the after dinner mint, the band proffer a hidden-bonus track performance of Generation X's classic 1978 first-LP anthem, "100 Punks," just to remind you the great vein they tapped into as kids and still perfectly plunder. The well-titled Minority of One is a great reminder that "emo" at its inception was far more punk-based, and was more about up-front communication and energy; it was far more individual, not a bland, pre-approved, easily replicated genre.
Review in Entertainment Weekly Magazine
D.C.'s Dag Nasty were one of the first bands to merge harmonies and hardcore. Now the pop-punk forefathers return with their first CD in 10 years. While "Minority" may not greatly enhance the group's legacy, it certainly doesn't tarnish it, either. Cuts like "Ghost" lack the urgency of Dag's seminal "Can I Say", but they still manage to get your toes a-tapping. Grade: B.
Review by Clark / bettawreckonize.com
Man-o-man was I scratching the walls in anticipation for this release. I think the success of the latest Bad Religion renewed my hopes that new material from bands I grew up with and shaped the "rocker" I am today can still get my heart racing. So much can be said about Dag Nasty and how they are a corner stone in the base of "emo," they did it early and they did it well. The members of Dag Nasty have long surpassed simply paying their dues in bands like Minor Threat, Down by Law, All, and Bad Religion. The men of Dag Nasty are among the punk rock royalty. The press release for Minority of One really said it best for me, it reads "it's really like getting a call from an old friend you haven't heard from in years and realizing that you had forgotten just how much you missed them." Minority of One is a triumphant return for Dag Nasty. The album is fresh and exciting, the song are rock solid and memorable. Songs like the opening "Ghosts" explode with fierce guitar work and suck you in with Dave Smalley's signature vocals. Lyrically, the songs are also trademark Smalley, inspirational and thought provoking. Tracks like "Minority of One," "Average man," and "Wasting Away" are classic fist-in-the-air punk rock anthems. "Twisted Again" is my #1 favorite song on Minority; it is the catchiest of them all and the opening hook will be in your brain for at weeks. I can rave about every song on this album with the exception of one, the bonus track is not a bonus, I really don't have a good reason I just think its kind of annoying. It does not really flow with the rest of the album but hey, I guess that is why its not listed. If you haven't figured it out I think Minority of One is a phenomenal album. Dag Nasty fans will not be disappointed, and I think Minority of One will attract a whole new wave of fans.
Review by Eddie Fournier / Delusions Of Adequacy
It's been a good year for punk rock thus far. Well, okayŠ we did lose a couple of legends, which wasn't so great, but we also got to witness the triumphant returns of both Bad Religion, with The Process of Belief, and Face to Face, with How to Ruin Everything. Now comes Minority of One, the first release in over a decade from Dag Nasty, and maybe it is surprising, maybe it isn't, but they sound as good as ever. For younger people like myself who may be more familiar with the other bands these guys are in, Dag Nasty features guitarist Brian Baker of Bad Religion, singer Dave Smalley of All and Down By Law, as well as bassist Roger Marbury and drummer Colin Sears. To add to the list of vintage punk rock connections, Minority of One was produced by Brian Baker and Minor Threat bassist Steve Hansgen, and engineered at the legendary Inner Ear by Don Zientara. So there is your background info. Hope you enjoyed it. What better way to start off the album than with the tremendous and blistering "Ghosts." This song, along with others like "Minority of One" and "Throwing Darts," can easily be compared to Baker's work with Bad Religion, while moments like "Your Words" and the unlisted 12th track display the more playful and poppy vibe Smalley brings from his work with All. The band chemistry throughout the entire album rivals that of any classic punk group, with the four guys showing that they have not lost a single step over the past 10 years. Minority of One can easily be ranked up there with the band's essential Can I Say record, but with a heightened sense of maturity, which one could say is to be expected 10 years later. Oh, and by the way, the aforementioned Can I Say is being re-released after being re-mastered and having new tracks added, along with Wig Out at Dnkos, by the band's original label, Dischord. Now you know. Smalley's lyrics take on everything from haunting memories to life in a cubicle to choosing your own path, all with an obviously strong sense of compassion. "He looks back to the days when the lyrics and chords meant everything / These days he stares at the screen so complacent and without dreams," Smalley sings on "Average Man," making almost any listener want to quit their job and start a punk band. Behind him, the rest of the band pounds away, tight as can be, blending hardcore speeds with melodic rock hooks, with the sort of perfect punk sound that only comes from the many years of experience these guys have accumulated. And yet with this more "mature" sound, they have not lost any of the energy and aggression they are known for. If you were already a Dag Nasty fan, Minority of One is an obvious must-have, because you have been waiting for quite some time. If you are a fan of the poppy punk acts of today, Minority of One is necessary in understanding where all of your favorite bands came from and what their influences are. And if you are looking for an introduction to punk rock, Minority of One is not a bad place to start. But this is not just a bunch of middle-aged punks trying to rehash something they did a decade ago. It revives the feelings of the era they started out in, while simultaneously pushing forward and leading the way, once again, for those who wish to follow.
Review by Jobst Eggert / Peace Of Mind (Germany) www.ihatepeaceofmind.com
yes, i was always a big fan of dag nasty. "can i say" and "wig out at denko's" are easily in my personal top 10 of all time favorite hc/punk records. but, as a big fan of those two classics ("field day" and "four on the floor"didn´t really do much to me, just like it didn´t really do to others). anyway, when i heard that the line up of "can i say" is going to record another record, i have to admit that i was as excited as skeptical. as soon as some snippets were online i downloaded them and liked what i heard so far. by some lucky coincidence i got a (burned) copy of the promo cd for "minority of one" and since then have heard it nearly everyday. to make this short: "minority of one" is totally dag nasty as i always loved them, a little poppier than "can i say" (hey, a couple of years in bad religion and down by law obviuosly leave their traces!), but with a little more edge then "wig out", probably because of dave´s voice. my band peace of mind (www.ihatepeaceofmind.com) used to cover the godfather when we played live and some reviews wrote that we do have a dag nasty-guitar whatever that might mean. just to let you know that dag nasty is still an inspiration for bands everywhere around the world. i am not disappointed by one single track of the new record and just hope that i will be able to get a colored vinyl copy sent to germany.
p.s. i think the generation x cover fits really well!
Review by Daniel Mitchell / http://www.ink19.com
Well, well, well... Dag Nasty have, in fact, reformed and have delivered a highly anticipated full length, after 10 long years! Where's former Ink 19 writer Nathan Birk (a die hard Dag Nasty lover) when you need him? Oh well, while Nathan pens things for Metal Maniacs magazine, I'll cover him for this one. Most everybody (with any semblance musical taste) over the age of 20 knows Dag Nasty, and knows them well; they released one of the most widely hailed melodic post punk records ever, 1986's "Can I say." You younger fans out there will have to give it a listen sometime; you may think it sounds dated, but you should at least hear it before you die, in the same way you should see the Mona Lisa before you die.
So anyway, when Nathan and I were teenagers in Toledo, OH, he always used to hound me, telling me that Dag Nasty was the greatest band, blah blah blah. I never caught on, and I kind of regret it; "Can I say" is fantastic! Minority of One, Dag Nasty's latest release, some 16 years later and on the Revelation label, is well done, but not masterful.
The band here is an all star cast of sorts, featuring Brian Baker, Dave Smalley, Roger Marbury, and Collin Sears. Let's just go on record here as saying that Minority of One is head over heels better than anything ever done by Bad Religion (Baker's "other" band) or Down By Law (Smalley's other singing job)... no kidding around here! These guys are thirty-something punks and they rock out full force, creating a fantastic sound not even challenged by Bad Religion or Down By Law. I guess the question then is what could this band have done if they hadn't broken up in '88? (side note: Dag Nasty released several other full lengths, but "Can I Say" is their premiere LP)
Minority of One would best be enjoyed, today, by fans of Samiam, Bad Religion, Face to Face, and other melodic post punk bands of similar style. That's essentially the variation of music featured here. The music isn't groundbreaking, but it rocks out with sincerity and emotion, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for the majority of bands in this genre. My favorite tracks here would be the awkwardly mathematical rocker, "Average Man," the unforgivingly pounding "Bottle This," and the beautifully orchestrated "Broken Days."
Dag Nasty is one of those curious bands that peaked with their first release (as in the Get Up Kids [their first two 7"s destroy everything else in their arsenal]); the only misnomer about that is that the band broke up in the middle of what could have been their prime. Minority of One is very well and emotionally strong, and captures a bunch of talented friends who have reconnected, all in the name of rock; what could be more beautiful than that?
Review by Steven Brooks / Noisetheory.net / Posted on 07/08/2002.
The best punk album of 2002.
It's been 10 years since a Dag Nasty album was released. After such a lengthy hiatus, most bands struggle to regain their touch. This however is not the case with this conglomerate of Bad Religion, Minor Threat, Fugazi and All members, amongst others.
The lineup from Dag Nasty's debut effort "Can I Say" has returned for this outing. Although unfair to compare the current and previous works of the band with each other due to the decade between drinks, "Minority Of One" surprisingly sits strongly alongside the elders. The melodies are equally strong as they are catchy, but never lose their anthemic qualities. There are enough ideas in each of the 12 tracks to allow every one to stand aside from the next, without losing touch of the punk sound.
Combining blistering punk with emotive influences, Dag Nasty for the uninitiated sounds like Bad Religion with a sugar rush. The uncanny knack of creating credible melody layered with regularly variating vocals is what sets Dag Nasty apart from the crowded melodic punk field. Opener "Ghosts" as well as "Your Words" and "Wasting Away" all showcase Dag Nasty's ability to master simple emotional punk, but it's when the band uses pace change that "Minority of One" takes on a brand new level. "Average Man" is blistering, and initiated by a scream of [change!], the song's unpredictable nature takes over. Title track "Minority Of One" and a brilliant cover of Generation X's "One Hundred Punks" further strengthen the album in the variation stakes.
Even the most simple of songs "Broken Days" isn't as it seems at first. Just as your about to kick out the air-guitar jams, you're left red-faced as silent pauses take place. Some fragile, almost whispering vocals allows this song to grow inside the head. The first half of "Minority Of One" does sound slightly more excited and accessible than the second, but that's not to say there is a single weak moment to be had here.
If you've lost faith in the occasionally monotonous sounds of Bad Religion and Pennywise, Dag Nasty is the cure. All the elements of a superb punk band still burn strong in the Dag Nasty cauldron. And what's better, the older Dag Nasty albums have recently been remastered and re-released for your enjoyment. Enjoyment is an understatement! This sounds more like a greatest hits package than just an album!
Rating: 9.2 out of 10.
Review by Carter Davis / The Strip Magazine / 3.5/4.0
Dag Nasty fans, myself included, have been waiting for this record for a long time. Minority of One is Dag Nasty's first collection of new material since Four on the Floor, released a decade ago. Though Dag Nasty only existed between 1985 and 1988, the group managed to go through three singers, two bass players, and two drummers, yet still found time to release three incredibly good albums before self-destructing. Released in 1992, Four on the Floor was merely a reunion record, as the band never toured or played any shows to support the album.
The band members that played on Minority of One are the same that played on the band's first album, the seminal Can I Say. The material sounds like the Punkrockacademyfightsong-era of Down By Law (singer Dave Smalley's "other" band). Nearly all the songs have similar, chugging tempos and plenty of amazing guitar-work by Brian Baker, now one of three guitarists in the legendary punk band Bad Religion. Smalley's vocal work is excellent, as always. The first half of the disc is much more energetic and entertaining than the last half, though all the material is good. Also included is a bonus track: a cover of Generation X's One Hundred Punks.
For the un-indoctrinated, the music is essentially straight ahead, punk-influenced rock, with impassioned vocals. The only difference between old and new Dag Nasty is that the music is not quite as expressive anymore, a task that the band mastered in its heyday.
Since the band has already released four exceptional albums, reproducing that magic is a difficult task, and apparently an impossible one. Though it's very good in its own right, Minority of One can only aspire to being Dag Nasty's fifth-best album. There are far worse places to be. Carter Davis.
Originally Published: The Strip, July 18, 2002 , Issue Number 67. Re-Printed with Permission.
Review by Anthony / Bad Horsey
Hardcore pioneers return to make mincemeat out of the competition.
Of course it's brilliant. How could it not be? Ten years of ideas from Bad Religion / Minor Threat / you-name-it-he's-done-it guitar virtuoso Brian Baker stuffed into one album. With the original line-up all present and correct, this is the finest album Dag Nasty have ever turned out - and given their legacy that's really saying something. Every song is crammed full of neat hooks, seething guitar lines and tooth-rattling bass, and Dave Smalley's vocals have never sounded better. You can view this album in two ways; either it's a significant evolution in Hardcore music, or it's the last word on the subject. In fact, the only people likely to make a better record are Dag Nasty themselves, so let's not leave it so long next time, chaps? Oh, and the rest of you may return to your prams.
Review by Stuart Green / Exclaim Magazine
For a band that doesn't exist beyond a recording project (in other words no live support), Dag Nasty, sure have a lot on the go. This album, their fifth overall and first in 10 years, is just one part of the band's full-frontal summer assault on unsuspecting record buyers-they also have re-mastered versions of the classic 'Can I Say' and 'Wig Out at Denko's' with beefed up sound and bonus tracks.Re-uniting the 'Can I Say' and 'Four on the Floor' lineup, which includes Down By Law frontman Dave Smalley and Bad Religion lead guitarist Brian Baker, 'Minority of One' finds the quartet putting their well-honed chops to good use on 11 tracks that not only recall their glory days of 1986 when they were spitting out lovelorn anthems of youthful rage set to 220 beats per minute thrash but adds a new level of maturity in the lyrics (and you would hope that to be the case 16 years later). Musically, the record is up to the exacting standards established through Baker's innovative and influential plucking and strumming style that made the band such an anomaly when they first emerged. It's a style that has been adopted by many latter-day mall punk bands but nobody does it like Baker. The question now becomes do we have to wait another 10 years for the next record? Let's hope not.
Review by Timmy Hansell / Punkbands.com
It was at MacRock 2002 that the new Dag Nasty album came to my attention. Sitting down and talking with Dave Smalley was an honor in itself, but listening to the new Dag Nasty album "Minority of One" has given me a new found respect for this band. It's been ten years but everyone that listens to this will see that their Revelation debut is truly worth the wait. The band graced the line-up of Dischord for years and went through a handful of members, but this has to be considered one of the best records of 2002. With the combination of Brian Baker (Bad Religion/Minor Threat), Dave Smalley (ALL/Down By Law), Roger Marbury (The Bloodbats), and Colin Sears (first Fugazi drummer), the band has an all-star roster which features an all-star sound surely to be respected by all. The band couldn't have picked a better opening track with "Ghosts" which features Dave Smalley's trademark vocals and the guitar parts we've all become accustomed to by Brian Baker. The title trac k "Minority of One" is a song which summarizes exactly how the band feels. Dag Nasty's history is about band members going on their seperate paths, standing out in their own special way. While "Bottle This" consists of a sound that is reminiscent of the present hardcore sound, "Twisted Again" will bring to light memories of classic Bad Religion songs with the help of Brian Baker's phenominal talent on guitar. It's been said that this may be the greatest release Revelation has ever put out, and I'd like to add this is the best release many have heard in quite a while. Get it! There's absolutely nothing bad to say about this album, and if you like it as much as myself, you will find that you'll be able to listen to it time and time again.
Review by Tony Toast - Backfire Fanzine
The only way for me to review this is to start at the beginning. So here goes. Way back in 1986 Dischord Records released Dag Nasty's first LP "Can I Say". A groundbreaking album that blended a hard-driving whirlwind of energy and youthful rage with extremely catchy hooks and an amazing sense of melody. Unfortunately, vocalist Dave Smalley left the band to pursue other musical outlets after that one record.
Recruiting Peter Cortner as new singer the band put out two more studio LP's. "Wig Out At Denko's" in '87 was generally accepted if not appreciated by fans. 1990's "Field Day", however; was not well received and in '88 the band broke up. 1992 sees a reunion of the "Can I Say" line-up to record the LP "Four On The Floor". An album I never heard, nor can I recall what the reviews I read about it had to say.
Now its 2002. An unbelievable 16 years after that first record, and once again the four members (Smalley-vox, Brian Baker-gtr, Roger Marbury-bass, and Colin Sears-drums) have reunited for their third release. Is it groundbreaking? Of course not. That's a very, very rare thing these days. Is it good? Hell yes! This album is a definitive example of what polished pop punk should sound like. The songs are catchy and hook filled yet manage to avoid sound too slick or soulless due to each members contribution. Roger and Colin provide solid up-tempo driving rhythm with an enviable tightness, while Brian alternates between chiming guitar lines and buzzsaw riffs. Then there's Dave's voice and delivery style. Still lots of melodies going on but not so much that it overshadows the passion. He really seems to understand that it's often more important to keep it a little raw and let the disgust and frustration with life's daily oppressions and betrayals have more priority than perfect harmony. After all, this is still punk rock.
Review by Matt Davies - THIRD ENGINE FANZINE (UK)
It's hard to judge this, i know it shouldn't be but when you've been listening to 'Can I say' for the past 'how many years' it's going to be tough. But what the hell, any Dag Nasty Record has to be good. Well, take it from me, after just one spin of this new disc your jaw is going to hit the floor. This is Dag Nasty back in full swing and hitting every right button. From the storming opener 'Ghost' to the more Bad Religion-esqe ' Broken Days'to the full melody fueled 'Throwing Darts', this record is for me the second best Dag Nasty record, it's no Can I Say, but why should it be. These guy's have always been pioneers in my eyes, never ones to re-tread the boards. No, this is amazing from start to finish. It's been ten years too long, let's hope it won't be another ten before the next storming installment.
Review by Greg Polard
The official release date of this disc isn't until mid August, but thanks to Donny Mutt and a 20 dollar bill, I got this disc a little early. I must say, it's been worth every penny. For those not in the know, Dag Nasty formed in 1985 and featured Brian Baker of Minor Threat on guitar. The band has been through MANY lineup changes, but Baker has always remained. Starting out with Sean Brown (later of Swiz, Sweetbelly Freakdown, and Jesuseater fame) on vocals, the band quickly made a following for themselves in the DC area. They recorded some demos with Sean, decided they didn't like them, and kicked him out. They got former DYS vocalist Dave Smalley to step up to the mic, as he was the roadie at the time. Yes, they later even got ANOTHER singer and put out some awesome records, but the Dave Smalley lineup is defintely the bands strongest. The band reunited once in 1992 for a one off LP on Epitaph called "Four On The Floor". While "Four On The Floor" has some awesome songs on it, it's not too solid of an album and kind of left a bad taste in a lot of Dag Nasty's fans mouths. The news of a new LP ten years after "Four On The Floor" had me a little sceptical. All of that scepticism is washed away however. "Minority of One" is a VERY solid album. There is not one dud on the whole disc. It was even recorded at Inner Ear studios in DC giving it more of that classic "Dag" sound. The album kicks off with the very melodic, yet totally rocking song "Ghosts", which many of you have heard on the Revelation Records 2002 Summer Sampler. The second song which is the title track, sounds like it could have been on "Can I Say". The rest of the album follows suit. The best way to describe "Minority Of One" would be take "Can I Say", record it in 2002 and make it a little more poppy. There my friend, is the recipe for an incredible record. Now lets just hope they tour!
Posted by J Lisa on 7/17/2002
I loved the opening track 'Ghosts" and a few songs later the Cd peaks with 'Bottle This' but for the most part, there are quite a number of songs in a row that just don't seem to go anywhere. I've listened to the CD in its entirety like 5-7 times now and I can only pick like 3 or 4 songs that I totally love, 1 being the Gen X cover at the very end. I won't be so obnoxious as to say that its filler, but all the other Dag records pummel you with one catchy, memorable song after another. M.O.O. doesn't do that for me. At least not yet, and I've already taken it out of my rotation.
Then again, I hated the "Third record" when it came out and it wound up my favorite, so who the hell knows.
On the lighter side, Dave does 'shout' more as someone mentioned, giving it a more hardcore feel than Four on the Floor, and Brian's playing has rarely sounded better. The recording is crisp and punchy and sounds amazing. It just that the writing seems to missing a classic Dag Nasty ingredient. Still, its years ahead of most 'new' shit music out there right now.
Also, I've noticed that Anthony has posted the vinyl breakdown info for the first pressing. Only 1,000+ made for the 1st press? That's pretty strange. Could it be that vinyl is THAT dead where a Dag Nasty press (ON COLORED WAX) only calls for an initial run of 1,000 copies? I betcha the vinyl will sell well in Europe.
Well, better be honest than an ass kisser.
Posted by Chris on 7/17/2002
Got a promo copy for review into my sweaty palms a few nights back and after at least a half-dozen listens I still can't quit smiling. One of my favorite things about this vs 4OTF (and Peter's vocals) is Dave's yelling more like on "Can I Say". Definitely a harder edge to this record overall than on 4OTF but MO1 also has the sound of a more mature group of guys. Don't read mature as mellowed or weak though, just that you can tell this record was more thoroughly worked out. I really dig 4OTF as well BTW. Favorite songs for me are Ghosts, MO1, Twisted Again & White Flag. I could even deal with Broken Days although it will probably the most picked on song. To sum it up for me, this record is everything I would have expected and more being a 14 year fan. Thanks to Steve for the awesome production and to all ya Dag guys for taking the time to make this record happen.