EP REVIEW: Shooting Daggers – Athames

Any punk fan who has had to suffer through sexism or any form of discrimination knows how cathartic loud, unfiltered music can be. For bands like the UK’s Shooting Daggers, turning that rage into a career is the most effective way to keep their sanity. They appropriately characterize themselves as feminist hardcore punk and queercore, spreading empowering messages that stand against misogyny and abuse with a Riot Grrrl angle. Influenced by G.L.O.S.S., Gel, Turnstile and the like, this trio will give you a mentally productive thirst for thrashing away all your repressed anger and disgust.

The band’s debut EP Athames (New Heavy Sounds) is named after a Wiccan ceremonial blade, referencing women in history who were mistaken as witches just for living freely and challenging the social construction of gender roles. The title concisely captures the fierceness each track holds to defy a sexist patriarchy and destructive societal norms.


Opening track ‘No Exit’ is a scorching jumble of riotous chants, turbulent guitars and glitching

echoes. Lead vocalist and guitarist Salomé Salgado Pellegrin lets out every ounce of frustration from the very first second, while backing vocalist and bassist Beatrice Simion adds a more melodic yet just as heated undertone. Following track ‘Liar’ is about abusers in the scene, and mercilessly states everything survivors are often advised not to say publicly. Pellegrin’s angst intensifies like a boiling tea kettle as her riled heaving escalates into full-on screams.

Lead single ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ dives into the toxicity of codependent friendships and being treated like a free therapist. Pellegrin bellows, “I’m your quirky fool, use me, I’m your fantasy, I’m your sexy tool for your growth.” Her raving delivery coupled with her screeching and storming guitar playing embodies the resentment built up inside of abuse victims everywhere.

Slow-burner ‘Carnage’ is about animal cruelty and creeps in with wailing feedback and muffled voices that turn into dooming riffs and exasperated shouts. The blood-curdling dissonance, ominous bass line and goth rock-inspired vocals of ‘We Will Live’ recommence the eerie energy until the rapid-paced hysteria returns for ‘You Can’t Kill Us’. Closing track ‘Missandra’ straightforwardly sums up the group’s feelings on sexism, referencing their name, “I shoot daggers out of my eyes” as their way to survive the sexualization and harassment women are forced to endure.


A seven-track callout to misogyny and various forms of abuse, Athames is as brutal and blunt as punk music gets. If you’re as fed up with a patriarchal and chauvinistic society as Shooting Daggers, try blasting this in the car on a busy highway for a major release.

Buy the EP here: https://shootingdaggers.bandcamp.com/album/athames


8 / 10