Review by GetMusic.com
AMG EXPERT REVIEW: One album later and literally half the band had changed. Doug Carrion took over on bass, being just as competent though not otherwise distinguished as his predecessor Roger Marbury, while Smalley was also gone, to be replaced by the lyrically similar-minded Peter Cortner. The latter's singing is rather more ragged than Smalley's sometimes blunter work, but the fact he's not trying to simply ape Smalley actually helps make him much more distinct as a result. Both use speaking as part of their delivery, and Cortner's thinner voice actually suits the fragility of his lyrics quite well, arguably being just that more effective than Smalley's approach, which sometimes sounded challenging even while pondering personal issues. Baker's still doing a good job all around on guitar, if anything stretching himself further at creating true anthems for the disaffected, feeling big and heroic while still embracing punk's simplicity, as the fantastic title track shows. There's even more in the way of soloing, which usually ends up serving each song's drive rather than being a showcase for wanking around. Not that once or twice he indulges in some fret-bending flash that uncomfortably signals where he'd end up with the horrible Junkyard, but happily that approach doesn't dominate. Opening cut "The Godfather" is a perfect pairing of his talent and Cortner's, with a chorus that rises just enough as the latter wonders how he can truly get in touch with the one he loves. Then there's "When I Move," which completely goes against the grain by only having Cortner and Baker on the track -- the latter simply performing acoustic guitar! Colin Sears keeps up the steady drumming work from the first album, while the production, though at points a touch less crisp than that on Can I Say, still lets everything come through nice and strong. - Ned Raggett, All Music Guide

Review by Satan Stole My Teddybear / Review by Randall Helmstutler
Wig Out At Denko's : It's 1987 and time for Dag Nasty to record their second album. Dave Smalley and Roger Marbury have been replaced by Peter Cortner and Doug Carrion respectively. This album reveals a significant change in their sound--more polished, slower, less aggressive. Still, this is definitely a Dag Nasty album, perhaps the definitive one. The opening track has a nicely textured guitar part, while Peter relates the problems one has when experiencing self-doubt. "Trying" reflects the more technical nature of this album compared to last year's. "Safe" is simply brilliant, riddled with lyrics like "Am I safe if I don't want to be with you?" and "I can't accept that you feel safer blending in with the rest." From this point on, listening begins to wear on the listener. "Fall" starts out promising, with "Hope that I can bounce back after each and every fall." However, any hopes of intensity are allayed, with the next line being "I'm supposed to bounce back, I am a rubber ball." Not the most original metaphor. "When I Move" is a great acoustic piece, and definitely belongs on this album. The flipside is somewhat monotonous, thehighlight here being "Simple Minds," which must have been written during the Can I Say era. Half of the songs are near perfect examples of emo-core, the others being questionable. But for the Dischord price, this is definitely worth your $11.



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