Double Dagger (band)

Last updated
Double Dagger
Origin Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Genres Post-punk, post-hardcore, noise rock
Instrument(s)Vocals, Bass, Drums
Years active2002–2011, 2021
LabelsStationary (Heart), Hit-Dat Records, Thrill Jockey Records, Toxic Pop, Terra Firma LTD
MembersNolen Strals (Vocals), Bruce Willen (Bass), Denny Bowen (Drums)
Website Official Site

Double Dagger is a post-punk trio from Baltimore, Maryland [1] composed of only drums, vocals, and a very loud bass guitar which fills the space a guitar would normally take. Vocalist Nolen Strals [1] and bassist Bruce Willen also comprised the graphic design team Post Typography, which has done work for some very high-profile clients, including The New York Times . [2] Hence, Double Dagger made a habit of referring to their style of post-hardcore as "graphicdesigncore" early in their career. In October 2011, Double Dagger officially broke up after a small final tour, but has since reunited occasionally for one-off shows.



Nolen Strals and Bruce Willen initially met while they were students at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. There, Strals and Willen started a group called League of Death, which was initially conceived as a heavy metal outfit, but later became a hardcore band. [3] League of Death broke up in 2002 after a final show with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, giving rise to Double Dagger, as a self-described "graphicdesigncore" band, with several songs referencing design and typographic elements on their first releases (the band itself was named after the typographic symbol ‡, used for footnotes). [4] [5] Brian Dubin, who had previously played bass in Baltimore rock band Stars of the Dogon and guitar in Baltimore's beloved Charm City Suicides during their final year, joined the new band as a drummer and played on the bands' first few recordings, including their self-titled debut album. He left in 2005 and was replaced by Denny Bowen, [1] then of Yukon, formerly of the band Economist, with whom Double Dagger had released a split single in 2003. [5]

During their 9-year run, Double Dagger played with a number of high-profile acts, including Pere Ubu, Lightning Bolt, The Ex, The Buzzcocks, The Jesus Lizard, and Matt & Kim. [6] They have released several EPs, 7" singles, and three full length albums. The band earned considerable critical praise as well, as evinced by positive reviews in publications such as The Washington Post, [1] Punk Planet, Baltimore City Paper [7] and Rolling Stone. [1] Citing time restraints and "chaotic personal lifes," Double Dagger announced they would break up following a brief tour of the eastern United States, and a final show in their hometown of Baltimore. [8] Bowen later appeared in Roomrunner and performed live with Dan Deacon and Future Islands, Willen appears in Peals alongside of William Cashion of Future Islands, and Strals appears in Pure Junk and Second Best Westerns. [9] [7]

In 2021, 10 years since their breakup, Double Dagger reunited for two shows in Baltimore. One at The Ottobar on October 15th and one at Current Gallery on October 16th. [10] Concurrently, they also released Sophisticated Urban Living (Contemporary Conveniences Edition), [11] an EP of unreleased alternate recordings made in 2008.

Band Members

Current Members

Past, Guest, or Temporary Members



Singles and EPs


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Malitz, David (October 18, 2011). "An exit interview with Double Dagger". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  3. "Double Dagger: Drawing a thin, jagged line between post-punk and graphic design". The A.V. Club. July 9, 2009. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  4. Erard, Michael (April 25, 2013). "Like a Lead Balloon". The Morning News. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Szeto, Greg (March 18, 2009). "Interview / Audio Premiere: Double Dagger (w/ Bruce Willen, Denny Bowen, Nolen Strals)". Aural States. Archived from the original on April 23, 2016. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  7. 1 2 Weigel, Brandon (April 24, 2013). "Baltimore's post-punk heroes hang up the glyph and launch new musical adventures". Baltimore City Paper. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  8. Maza, Erik (September 14, 2011). "Double Dagger breaks up after nine years". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 14, 2016.
  9. Essner, Dean (April 18, 2013). "Double Dagger frontman Nolen Strals talks about the legendary punk band's new documentary". The Diamondback. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  10. Doubledagger.Forever (Aug 25, 2021). "DoubleDagger.Forever Instagram Post". Instagram . Retrieved Nov 5, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Sophisticated Urban Living (Contemporary Conveniences Edition), by Double Dagger". Double Dagger. Retrieved 2021-11-05.
  12. "Double Dagger: More". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2021-11-05.