Daggers: Volta's Ikey & 2Mex


Look Daggers - Ikey Owens & 2Mex
Combining the musical direction of Mars Volta keyboardist Ikey Owens with the lyricism of L.A. underground rap hero 2Mex (Visionaries), Look Daggers features a bombastic blend of hip-hop, rock and pop hooks on their debut LP, Suffer in Style, due September 30 on Up Above Records (Visionaries, MC Supernatural, Jurassic 5). The album will be packaged with a DVD entitled, "Alive for Now In Long Beach," capturing the evolution of the band, including exclusive interviews, a live show, rehearsal footage and music videos.

Brought together by a shared love for live instrumentation, Suffer In Style is the end product of Owens and 2Mex fusing together a group of ├╝ber talented musicians from different backgrounds and genres, to create a truly kaleidoscopic, genre-blurring album. Recorded live in two parts (starting in the summer of 2005) the duo eschewed samplers, sequencers and Pro Tools and instead enlisted the musical prowess of their friends: Pablo Hinojos-Gonzalez (The Mars Volta), Brett Hinds (Mastodon), Marshall Goodman (Sublime/Long Beach Dub Allstars), Pat Bailey (Breakestra), Ray Barbee, Ryland Steen (Reel Big Fish), Existereo (Shapeshifters) and many others. They've come a long way and have since cemented a permanent band in place including several of the aforementioned musicians, to see their musical vision through how it's best experienced - live.

This collection is far from 2Mex fronting The Mars Volta or anything you might be assuming; it's something entirely different. Beginning with "That Look," the Spanish-inspired electric guitar signals this isn't an ordinary hip-hop record; the ensuing musical odyssey ensures that. Over the course of 13 tracks, Look Daggers seamlessly explores dark dub ("Youth Is Getting Restless)," thick-based jazz ("Before You Say No)," '60s psych-rock ("Know Turning Back"), heartfelt torch songs ("You're Not Talking To Me"), acerbic indie rock ("New Wave Spazout") and bouncy pop ("Call U Later"). Whether it's a snarky send-off or an ominous warning, 2Mex flexes his rhyming muscle and singular delivery while Owens brings the songs to life with his inventive instrumentation evident in nearly every song.

Look Daggers concept is simple: a hip-hop album performed by humans. In this case, they've more than succeeded with Suffer in Style just a precursor of what's to come.

Look Daggers - "Call You Later" music video

Look Daggers First Show

Check out more of Look Daggers' music at myspace.com/lookdaggers.

[Published on: 8/15/08]

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RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/15/2008 01:49PM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Chris Fri 8/15/2008 02:02PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


^Lame-o. Saying you like it is cool. Other than that... not so much.

This is pretty tight I guess. But I'm getting the feeling that many artists who call themselves "genre blurring" are, ironically enough, just trying to run with the crowd.

deadphish001 Fri 8/15/2008 02:19PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
sschaffner Fri 8/15/2008 03:34PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i'm going to go ahead and say not so sweet, and that has nothing to do with my two favorite bands getting dissed in the first comment, which really doesn't mean anything other than the fact that mr. festivaltofestival probably has some self-confidence issues. that comment makes me think of a high school bully whose only source of reassurance comes from telling everyone how awesome he is, praising his own accomplishments (bonnaroo to rothbury to acl), and bringing others down to make himself feel better.

anyways, i gave look dagger a close listen and i'd say they might be some 'badass' individuals (at least they look the part), but the music isn't all that great. there's some pretty nice beats and instrumentals ('before you say no' is excellent), but 2mex doesn't sound like much of an mc (lyrically or vocally).

King Rhino Fri 8/15/2008 03:37PM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

No kidding. Just the photograph of those two simply screams "Badass motherfuckers!"

makesensetome Fri 8/15/2008 04:49PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i dunno about this band

AintNoFreedom starstar Sat 8/16/2008 07:02AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I went into watching this wanting to like it... but i just can't dig it. Lyrics aren't very good, and the whole scene looks kind of silly.

rainydaywomen420 Sat 8/16/2008 10:58AM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


waiting for the punchline??

bill_e Mon 8/18/2008 03:58PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


that video was awesome! I loved the Talking Heads reference.

The second vid, the live show one, highlights what i dislike about live hiphop, the inability to properly hear what the hell an emcee is saying!

rhythmking starstarstar Thu 8/28/2008 10:55AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


Ray Barbee is in real big fish? and what does he play in this band? The Ray Barbee x pro skateboarder? everything about this project is confusing. i wanted to like it...