Words Like Daggers
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Words Like Daggers

Des Moines, IA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | INDIE

Des Moines, IA | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Alternative Rock




"[Music Review] Words Like Daggers - Literature"

I hate this over-used saying, but f*## it, it’s so true in this case. What a difference a year makes. I reviewed Words Like Daggers’ debut EP last year (here: http://Impmagazine.com/2011/07/15/album-vs-album-words-like-daggers-vs-within-wolves) and ended up with the conclusion that the band had a ton of potential, so it would be very interesting to see what they would do with it. Well a funny thing happened in between albums, as Literature is fantastic. Taking all the is enjoyable about melodic metalcore/post-hardcore a al a mix of Blessthefall and Oh, Sleeper, the group has added in some much-welcomed progressive elements, and the results are good,
oh so good. There are many moments of mathcore madness and other times when the time signature changes more frequently than the weather in Ohio. All of this adds up to a fairly captivating release from these relative newcomers. Literature puts its best foot forward with a “Preface” that is an actual song, instead of a useless introduction. The track is a four minute song that is a literal table of contents on what you can expect with the record: moments of hard-hitting maelstrom, melody aplenty, and thoughtful songwriting. Each song has some solid moments that differentiate it from the other, making this an album that is easy to listen to in its entirety. The only major problems are that the songs themselves are not very memorable, and that a few of the more generic elements of metalcore rear their ugly heads in a few spots. But for the most part, Literature is the musical equivalent of Gatorade on a hot day: it’s not perfect, but it goes down smoothly. (Nicholas Senior) - Lexington Music Press

"Music Review - Words Like Daggers 'Literature'"

If their EP, These Transient Times, wasn’t enough to solidify them a spot among post hardcore heavyweights such as BLESSTHEFALL and BRING ME THE HORIZON, then their new album Literature surely has. This 5-piece hardcore band from the Midwest really nailed it.

From the very beginning, the energy was there. The opening track “Preface” starts out with a well layered scream into what I thought would just be a short intro track. It actually turned out to be a 4 minute song that read like a table of contents, as if saying, “Ok, here’s a sample of all the elements you should expect on this record.” All in one song. I loved the record already.

I also enjoyed that it didn’t feel like a 30 minute song – the sound from one track to the next varied enough to keep me interested. I was even reminded of THE MARS VOLTA when listening to “Get It Gruesome.” The guitars and vocal delivery are what triggered it – a nice, unexpected touch.

If you’re a fan of slower “ballad-like” songs check out “Through The Glass Darkly.” It’s a singing-heavy song with bits of well placed screaming.

This isn’t an album for a hardcore fan to pass up, and if they’re live show has the same high energy you definitely want to make it out to see them. (Tony Shrum) - AMP Magazine

"Words Like Daggers"

Words Like Daggers is a modern style hardcore band from Des Moines who have set a fire in the heartland that has started to spread nationally. Their newly released EP These Transient Times has been met with a very positive critical reception and their growing armada of fans have basically gone ape shit over it. Recently I spoke with Words Like Daggers vocalist Lawton Herbert about all things WLD.

HMM: Tell me about the new These Transient Times EP and what was it like working with Cory Spotts?

Lawton: The EP definitely means a lot to us. I think with every piece of work that we write we kind of view it as a moment captured in time. Like a snapshot of that given time in our lives. It’s like a collection of memories. We went into the studio with Cory who is a very creative and laid back individual who also pushes you to give the best performance that you can. We just went in there and laid down the tracks and tried a bunch of musical mechanisms to help the feel to be more of what we were looking for. Three weeks later we had our final project and we’re pretty happy with it. It turned out nice and heavy. One big thing and Cory was really on board with this too, we feel like for this genre a lot bands like to jump on the bandwagon of what’s trendy and just ride it out. It was really important for us that we form a sound that is more of our own, more unique and original. Instead of having everything machine like or robotic we allowed room for a more organic feel. The mix overall is very aggressive. We’re going for Underoath meets Deftones meets Refused kind of sound. Really desperate sounding.HMM: What was it like writing these songs? Were you bringing these influences to the table or were you just jamming and things came together?

Lawton: Each song came together differently, but instrumentally we have a guitarist, Austin L’Ecuyer, and he is just one of those guitarists who is extremely stylized. He knows what he likes and if I were to hear him play in another band on a different recording I could pick him out of a group of a 100 people. He has a flavor. Typically with a lot of parts he would have an idea of how it went, you know instrumentally of how he wanted it to go, and then sort of jam it out with everyone working on their parts. Then I would figure out what I wanted to do vocally over that. As far as lyrically and vocally I actually wrote all the vocals including cleans and I write all the lyrics as well then I discuss it with the rest of the band to see if they enjoy the concept and that’s typically the way the writing process goes.

HMM: I love the name of song Humanimal.

Lawton: (Laughter) Yeah we’re big into certain themes and one of those themes is duality which is opposites living within a single entity. The idea of a sort of man-beast is pretty attractive to us so we thought we’d throw that on there.

HMM: So does the artwork on the EP represent the Humanimal then?

Lawton: Absolutely. The artwork actually was done by by Marky at Midwest Web Designs and he’s worked with Paramore and Alkaline Trio and things like that. He was the one who ultimately came up with the final artwork. We told him about our love for duality and we kind of pushed him in the right direction and gave him some ideas but he ultimately came up with doing like an ink blot test that has the 2 skulls. The beast and the human and we fell in love it because it does perfectly represent the Humanimal theme.

HMM: Where did the band name come from?

Lawton: The band name comes from Hamlet. I believe the line is: “These words, like daggers, enter in mine ears”. I have a fascination with classical works of literature. Shakespeare is one of my favorites of course. I was going through some Shakespeare and though and thought that would make an actual name for a band and ultimately I really enjoy it because I think it’s pretty striking.

HMM: Are there any of those classic literature themes in the new EP then?

Lawton: The overarching theme of the EP is more or less the plot of Macbeth. In every single song except for Humanimal I used at least one line from Shakespeare. So that was something unique that we did. It’s not necessarily the characters of Macbeth but the plot. The idea is that it actually happens within an individuals mind but the EP is presented from the mind of a schizophrenic. He becomes leery of another side of himself that no longer agrees with whatever side is in control. It’s then a power struggle within his own mind and then one side kills the other. It’s kind of a story about murder then the song “The Brightside Of Desperation” is about the guilt. About not being able to wash the blood from his hands. The last song can be taken, but it’s up to interpretation, as either as committing suicide or as finally coming to peace with what had happened.


groovey@hollywoodmusicmagazine.com - Hollywood Music Magazine

"Words Like Daggers"

The band Words Like Daggers originated in Des Moines Iowa but the members of the band come from Des Moines Iowa, Davenport Iowa, and Omaha Nebraska. They have yet to release a full album but have 3 demo tracks available for download on PureVolume.com and on the band's Myspace page they have 5 tracks available for purchase 2 of which are not on PureVolume.com. Words Like daggers aren't like most bands in my opinion, the reason that I say this is that they preform live as well as their recordings are and i have found out that not all bands can play live as well as record their songs in a studio. Although the concert I went to that had them in they weren't the main event but they easily could have been and they played as well if not better than some of the other bands that were playing that night at The House of Bricks. The style of music from Words Like Daggers reminds me a lot of A Skylit Drive but still has differences that separate the two bands and each band has their own sound which is unique to them. My favorite song from these 3 songs has to be Lost in the Rapture because of the intro and how it builds to a point for about 10 seconds then picks up the pace and then completely changes again at about 45 seconds into the song.
- Timothy L.

"Words Like Daggers"

If you don't know who WORDS LIKE DAGGERS is, then you've probably missed some of the top shows around the local hardcore scene this last year. Having opened for bands like Attack Attack!. The Bled, In Fear And Faith, Haste The Day, Of Mice And Men, and The Color Morale, just to name a few, WORDS LIKE DAGGERS is a young band making their mark on the scene, performing raw and honest music that is hard to find these days. The band crafts songs that aim to reflect the duality of human condition, with crushing, hardcore sections seamlessly linked to ambient, melodic moments. Fresh out of an Arizona studio where they recorded with Cory Spotts (Greeley Estates, Job For A Cowboy, Blessthefall), WORDS LIKE DAGGERS are ready to show off their debut EP, These Transient Times, which drops on iTunes on October 15th. YELLOWBRICK (YB) caught up with WORDS LIKE DAGGERS (WLD) to talk about the new album...

YB: Who/what are the biggest influences/inspirations on your music ?

WLD: One major item that significantly influenced every one of our musical careers was the hardcore live show. No one can deny the powerful emotion that pours out of a good hardcore show, and the first time each of us experienced that, we were hooked for life. Another key influential concept for us is contrast. We all have a pretty intense fascination with duality (opposites existing within a single entity) and that is something we definitely try to bring to our music. We believe that the most devastating hardcore contains both introspective, laid-back parts as well as heavy crushing sections. After all, you can't know if something is truly heavy unless you can compare it to a lighter piece.

YB: Why did you choose to go with Cory Spotts for recording?

WLD: When we reviewed our list of potential producers, Cory stuck out as a very well-rounded, experienced individual. It was clear to us that he definitely understood heavy music, but he also had an ear for melody and an affinity for creativity. After speaking with him on the phone for the first time, we knew he was our guy.

YB: What impact do you feel that Cory had on the recording process?

WLD: Cory had a major impact on the recording process and final outcome of our EP. During every studio session, he was very laid back, yet fervent in his resolve to motivate the production of our best performances. In addition to recording and mixing the project which provided an intrinsic foundation for the sound, Cory encouraged us to explore some creative musical elements and mechanisms that we otherwise might not have investigated.

YB: How do you feel you are impacting the Midwest music scene?

WLD: We like to think we've had a positive impact on the Midwest music scene mostly because we have accomplished everything to date solely through our own efforts. For a new band, we have been able to achieve many goals within a short period of time without label support or a manager, which proves that a lot of hard work and dedication can definitely pay off. It's our hope that other Midwest bands are encouraged by this as the scene can certainly be discouraging at times. - YellowBrick Magazine

"Words Like Daggers' EP: "These Transient Times""

As the hardcore scene struggles to find a new direction in what seems to be a collective mid-life crisis for the genre, these middle-America boys propose an intriguing breath of fresh air. Words Like Daggers’ new EP These Transient Times successfully pushes the creative envelope without forsaking its inherent hardcore roots.
The seamlessly infused melodies and overtones of WLD are driven completely and made whole by an unapologetic hardcore sound that starts with a primal growl on the first track, “Humanimal”, and holds true to originality and intensity throughout the entire EP. Though it is the band’s first professionally recorded effort, it sure doesn’t sound like it. These guys prove they have more to offer than blazing fast double-kick choruses followed by cliché hard-hitting rhythmic breakdowns that plague so many cookie-cutter hardcore bands today. Their unique take on the genre and mastery of their own sound allows them to focus more on how their music feels and what it says, rather than simply focusing on how it sounds.
This permits the band to be ambitious not only with their instrumentals, but on the EP’s over-arching themes as well. Though there are clear contemporary hardcore influences from the likes of Underoath, Circa Survive and The Devil Wears Prada, the band is far from following someone else’s dream. WLD has created a unique sound that, in the band’s own words, seeks to capture the “natural ebb and flow of the human condition.” Whether or not the human condition can be fleshed out in an EP is up for debate, but they’ve at the very least managed to reign in and harness the frantic chaos of duality, deception and remorse. And every so often, right at the perfect moment, like at the climax of “The Brightside Of Desperation”, they are able to puncture that chaos with a single moment of perfect clarity. This ability leads to a dynamic sound that has the elasticity to cater to any artistic indulgence necessary. For example, a choral based background complements the vocal melody beautifully without losing any of the song’s hard edge in “For The Sake Of Pete!”
For all the die-hard old-school hardcore fans out there, WLD sure as hell hasn’t forgotten about you. When these guys play, sing and scream…well…they fucking mean it. You’d be hard pressed to produce a list of bands that outstrip WLD in authenticity and energy. Keep a close eye on this one; their first full-length album will definitely be worth checking out. - Brandon Stumbo

"Album Review: Words Like Daggers - Perfect Weather"

Being from the Midwest myself, the spotlight isn’t something many of us enjoy or really prefer. Growing up you are typically brought up with extremely hard working values and an appreciation for everything – the big city life and bright shine of hustling and bustling streets doesn’t really exist. Forming in 2010 out of Des Moines, IA, Words Like Daggers never seemed to be attracted to those same bright lights many performers are and have been doing it local since their formation. After years of dedication and perseverance, everything has seemingly come full circle for the band with the announcement of their signing to Third String Records in January and the release of their debut full length, Perfect Weather on March 18. With the label and album announcement now public, the underlying question remained – how does this album stack up against others in a genre that many fans are finding tired and old? The answer: Brilliantly.

About Words Like Daggers
I’d like to be blatantly clear on this front; Perfect Weather is one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions and puts the perspective of love and relationships into music extremely well. While it’s commonly thought a large majority of music is written about love in some aspect, most artists don’t cover the subject in a comprehensive matter throughout the entirety of the album. From the albums opener, “Miss Fortunate” to the album’s title track and closer, “Perfect Weather”, you are taken down the darker path of what relationships and love are all about. “Miss Fortunate” gets down and dirty with its message of distrust and manipulation in relationships and the outlying effect it has on people. Ending with the subtle, yet ridiculously catchy line “Don’t say it’s worth it, we’re half as much as we used to be…and you’re burning my light out” caps the track on the perfect note and is the clearest example of what the overall sound and message Perfect Weather offers.

Even though the album is lyrically and thematically dark, the sound and musicality of the album is more vibrant and upbeat. Words Like Daggers incorporate elements of post hardcore (mostly instrumentation) while opting for a subtler and mellowed out vocal delivery. There is the occasional use of harsh vocals, but it’s more about the placement and timing compared to typical nuances of harsh verses/clean choruses found in the majority of bands in the core scene. To top it off, the album is full of tracks that will stay in your head for weeks with catchy choruses and well done vocal melodies. Additionally, Perfect Weather is a meaty album, not only in lyrical depth, but in song structure and length. A large majority of albums currently made seem to have a lot of filler and skippable tracks; that is something I didn’t run into with this album. Some of the tracks do sound similar at the beginning, but the band introduces different elements throughout each track to differentiate them well enough. “Dead Weight” opens up with the plucking of an acoustic guitar, “Nothing Left to Prove” seemingly strips down to the barebones and goes full on alternative rock during it’s opening and “Perfect Weather” has one of the most beautifully crafted soundscapes to it that I’ve heard in rock music.

While this isn’t Words Like Daggers first attempt at music, it is their first attempt at dealing with putting together a cohesive, everlasting piece of art and they have done so admirably. Perfect Weather is more than just an album; it’s a complete package with a message to convey. From the album title and simplistic, natural beauty of the album cover to the alternative, yet slightly aggressive rock sound the band has put on full display, you can just feel the emotion and effort this simple Midwestern band has put into their craft. Whether or not this album leads to the break that gets them over the hump and into a bigger spotlight is for time to determine, but you cannot deny the beauty of what Perfect Weather is.

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The Weekly Drop: March 14-18 Releases
March 18, 2016
In "Features"
Album Review: Hands Like Houses - Dissonants
February 16, 2016
In "Core"
Album Review: Fightstar - Behind The Devil's Back
October 13, 2015
In "Reviews"
THE GIST | Album Review: Words Like Daggers – Perfect Weather

From the album title and simplistic, natural beauty of the album cover to the alternative, yet slightly aggressive rock sound the band has put on full display, you can just feel the emotion and effort this simple Midwestern band has put into their craft.

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FLOW 9 - Soundfiction

"Words Like Daggers premiere intense “Speak Easy” music video (exclusive)"

After recently signing with Third String Records, alt-rock band Words Like Daggers filmed an intense, suspenseful video for their song "Speak Easy."

Now, they're teaming up with AP to release the video, which follows a tumultuous relationship that ends in tragedy. The Des Moines band recently released their record Perfect Weather, which is currently available through preorder.

"'Speak Easy' is about the emotional struggle of a dysfunctional relationship,"says vocalist Beau Quinton. "It's like being on a roller coaster with no restraints.”

Check out the video below, and leave your thoughts in the comments! - Alternative Press

"EXCLUSIVE: Meet (and hear) Third String Records’ newest signing, Words Like Daggers"

If you’re a fan of kickass music festivals, you’re probably familiar with So What?!, the multi-day music festival held in Texas every March that features the best the underground punk/emo/metal/hardcore/rock scene has to offer. What you might not know is that festival founder Mike Ziemer recently started a record label called Third String Records where he works with bands he thinks could be the future of this scene. Today, we’re excited to announce Third String’s latest signing, Des Moines, Iowa-based rock quintet Words Like Daggers. The band will release their debut full-length, Perfect Weather, via Third String on March 18, and pre-orders will be available starting January 18 here. Check out the cover art for Words Like Daggers’ Perfect Weather below as well as a lyric video for their brand new song “Under The Gun.” - Substream

"Video Premiere: Words Like Daggers – “Dead Weight”"

We’re pleased to bring you the premiere of Des Moines, IA alternative/post-hardcore five-piece Words Like Daggers‘ new music video for their song “Dead Weight” (watch below). The track is taken from the band’s forthcoming album Perfect Weather, being released March 18th through Third String Records. The band comments on the video:

“This music video was a blast to make. The action unfolds as if it was straight out of a horror film and everyone involved had a great time on site. The song itself is written from the point of view of a killer. Check out the video and pick up ‘Perfect Weather’ on March 18th!”

Purchase Perfect Weather here.

Drawing influence from artists such as Mayday Parade, Taking Back Sunday, Paramore and The Used, Words Like Daggers have shared the stage with bands like Chiodos, The Color Morale, Silent Planet and more. Check out their upcoming tour dates below, including a stop at So What?! Music Festival. - New Noise Magazine



• Out March 18th, 2016 on Third String Records
• Mixed and mastered by Joseph McQueen at Echalon Studios
• Available through itunes, amazon, spotify, and more


Feeling a bit camera shy


Words Like Daggers is a five piece alternative-rock band based out of Des Moines, IA that draws influence from artist including Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Circa Survive and anything in between. In 2015 Words Like Daggers signed with Third String Records and shortly after, their debut full-length album, "Perfect Weather" was released on March 18th 2016. The band has been touring consistently since 2012 and have since shared the stage with a number of influential acts that range everywhere from Deftones to Neck Deep. 

"Perfect Weather" has already made a strong impact on listeners and has received many great reviews since it's release just a week ago. The songs are written from an upfront and honest perspective that has allowed a real connection between the artist and audience. One reviewer writes - "Perfect Weather is one hell of a rollercoaster of emotions and puts the perspective of love and relationships into music extremely well." The diversity of the record while staying centered to a collective theme of love and loss makes the music relatable to most and entertaining to anyone.

Words Like Daggers brings the true spirit of hard work to the table in every aspect of their craft. The near future holds plans of near-nonstop touring and continual writing to hone in on their unique sound even more. 

Band Members