The East and West coasts have always had their musical differences. The two are united, however, in the new split release by Los Angeles rockers Criminal Hygiene and Georgetown’s own Dagos. In putting together this release, Criminal Hygiene and Dagos provide a song each that captures some of the best qualities of punk and rock music from their respective cities.
Originating in Los Angeles, Criminal Hygiene inject their track “Raid” with the thundering power of previous California rockers like the Black Flag and Dead Kennedys. The group’s hollering, high vocals are nicely juxtaposed with the dirty power chords that open the song.
The group connects with their sun-kissed beach roots by drawing in swinging surf rock riffs along with a shredding, classic rock-and-roll guitar solo. Henry Rollins would be proud of the vocal cord-tearing scream that closes out two-minutes of rock purity.
Shifting over to Dagos, the trio draws on many of the elements that make them a fixture in the D.C. band scene. Dagos build “Dinosaurs Are Sad” in the style of the Pixies, using the loud-soft dynamic to great effect. While the softer parts are key to the song’s message—a humorous yet poignant attack on capitalism—the loud parts contribute most to the music’s flow.
John Romano’s driving chords serve as the foundation for his brother Joe Romano’s ripping bass lines and Franco Nuschese’s crashing drums. Together, they build a wall of rocking sound. Dagos appears to have taken a page from Criminal Hygiene’s book, as their harmonies offer a surprisingly pleasant contrast against the roar of sound.
Impressively bridging the nationwide gap, the Criminal Hygiene and Dagos split record can be likened to an updated version of a Record Store Day exclusive. The record is available as either a digital download or in seven-inch, 45 vinyl versions that come in black or creamy canary yellow. Two punk songs that pack such walloping punches make for quite a deal—this is definitely a record to add to the collection.
Voice’s Choices: “Dinosaurs Are Sad,” “Raid”