Shooting From the Shadows
Ring Me, Elise
You Holler, You Scream
You Holler, You Scream (Skibunny Remix)
Boo - Dag För Dag (2010)
An appealing DIY post-punk wrapping doesn't cover up the lack of killer tracks on the Snavely siblings' debut.
Brother and sister duo Dag för Dag are not from Sweden as their band name might suggest. Sarah Parthemore Snavely and Jacob Donald Snavely hail from across the Atlantic. Via Missoula, Wisconsin, Honolulu and London they ended up in Stockholm, their current base, and stumbled across the Swedish phrase (meaning Day by Day) in an attempt to get to grips with the Swedish language. Plus, as Sarah explained in an interview with Swedish TV, "it sounds exotic".
Their debut EP, Shooting From The Shadows, takes us back to basic. The formula is simple – guitars, vocals and a bit of drumming wrapped in a lo-fi production with rarely more than two chords per song. Gun Club comes to mind, particularly on the EP's strongest track Ring Me, Elise. The Snavelys have adopted the same dirty punk rock'n'roll sound, Sarah howling and growling over the minimalist backdrop of strumming guitars. She doesn't shy away from going off-key, moaning or visiting the higher registers where she doesn't really belong with her alto chords a cross between Shirley Manson and PJ Harvey.
Jacob occasionally duets with his sister. There's a moment on Pirate Sea where the siblings' voices and two guitars sing and play against each other, a detail that enriches the otherwise monotonous tune. On Words piercing guitars are replaced by a warm organ, a brief but welcome break from the otherwise guitar-heavy soundscape. With melodica and echoed vocals in tow, the only ingredient missing is perhaps the most crucial one – a strong song.
Better Now is build around a template similar to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Maps. Marching drums and fuzz guitars are central, as is an underlying musical tension. The YYY bring intensity and shrewdness to their Fever To Tell track, making it something of a masterpiece. Dag för Dag on the other hand lack energy. They're slightly unpersuasive in their performance, which is also one of the album drawbacks.
Another well-known gender-equal duo, The White Stripes, have consistently been successful executers of Dag för Dag's less-is-more approach. What the White Stripes lack in instruments and other effects they make up for with conviction and killer tracks – elements lacking on Shooting... There's a certain attraction in the Snavelys' raw DIY sound, but in order to take on competition from the Whites or indeed rival up-and-coming sibling duo Joe Gideon & The Shark, they should consider upping the ante.