In lieu of the band’s recent “reunion”, it seems fitting to bring this gem to light. Not a rarity per se, but definitely an album by a band who, even though well within the hardcore and punk scene, were almost like an odd-man out. Ink & Dagger played a style of hardcore punk that was all over the map: spastic, frenetic, chaotic, and explosive. It is well-known that they brought in a sense of darkness and pure energy in their vampire-obsessed and theatrical performances. Those lucky enough to have seen the band when singer Sean McCabe was alive know exactly how energetic and intense I&D’s live shows were.
After two 7”s (Love Is Dead and Drive This Seven-Inch Wooden Stake Through My Philadelphia Heart), the band released their first full-length LP, The Fine Art of Original Sin in 1998 on the Initial Records label. The album saw the band polishing their raw punk sound and not only making it more abrasive and in-your-face, but also adding nuances and atmospherics with the assistance of tape loops, drum effects, and even synthesizers.
It is not completely known what the full pressing info of The Fine Art of Original Sin is. Black is the most common but no info on how many pressed.
Clear blue is the next color known. A total of 300 were pressed on clear blue. How I know that I have no idea. In the 20+ years of being into this hobby, I have made it a sort of mission/goal to have a complete Initial Records discography. I lived in Louisville, KY when the label changed their location there from Detroit and even though I moved after a few years, I still kept up with them. During all those years, I’ve been able to gather pressing info here and there thanks to dealing with other collectors and people in the hardcore/punk community.
And then we have a white version of the record. There are only 26 in existence. I am more puzzled over how I came into possessing this one than how I know there are 26. I’d like to believe that it was given to me by the great gods of Philly hardcore as a thank you for supporting Ink & Dagger. Who knows. If I had to guess, I’d feel confident in saying that this white version was a “friends-only” or band version done by Initial. But, feel free to prove me wrong. [edit: My good friend Marcus has informed me the album was Initial Records’ 26th release hence 26 being especially done on white. Since Marcus is awesome…and he is an avid Initial Records fan, his info is legit. Thanks Marcus!]
The band released a few more 7″s since The Fine Art… and a final LP after McCabe’s passing in 2000. The remaining band members reunited this year with Thursday‘s Geoff Rickly on vocals at this year’s This Is Hardcore Fest. The reunion was to benefit a friend’s son who is battling cancer. The reunited band has also played a handful of shows in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, and their hometown of Philadelphia.
As usual, if you have info that can help expand this, drop us a line. If you have Ink & Dagger releases and merch to trade or sell, definitely hit me (Juan) up.