Review Summary: Some say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, but that’s just a lazy way to dismiss the seed.
Daughters are fu
cking scary. I mean, let’s be honest- how many grind bands’ allure is their ability to frighten their audience? Sure, we can compare them to the likes of The Number 12 Looks Like You, or The Locust, who are equally as crazy (perhaps more-so), but Daughters’ distinguishing aspects are that their songs are more noise-laden with darker atmospheres. Their haphazard song structures shouldn’t work in theory as they tend to shift from one extreme to another- whether it be the overall tone and atmosphere, or a particular instrument- but, somehow, their formula works well. Most often, although hard to decipher due to layering and dissonance, is the guitar, seemingly jumping all over the place.
key variable is the guitar playing juxtaposed with Alex Marshall’s drawl (an Elvis Presley influenced technique), in addition to the loud dissonance collapsing in on almost every one of their songs’ closing minute(s). As a vocalist, Alex Marshall has improved exponentially since Daughters’ debut album Canada Songs
placing them alongside the likes of The Locust. His vocals have changed so drastically that it’s hard to imagine him as the same vocalist screaming and panting his way through the short, sporadic songs on the aforementioned debut. On Daughters
, they’ve turned down the schizophrenic aspects and turned up the bass 10 fold. This acts towards its cause (being loud and aggressive) even though it’s harder to differentiate tracks at first due to production, whereas past releases had appeared more varied on the surface. The result is something more low-end, making it their most accessible album to date, and is partial to even those who don’t appreciate the genre.
A lot of the songs’ grandeur sections are reliant on galloping inflation. For example: The First Supper accentuates to a culmination of resounding blast beats and frenetic guitar picking. Most songs build in scope to a definitive loud section and The First Supper does it best, making it the band’s finest moment. As outlandish as this may seem, The First Supper is Daughters’ Cirq du Soleil; a dark, twisted circus anthem; a conclusion I drew when paying close attention to the guitar work and bridge section. Similarly as large, The Theater Goer seems like it can be concluded at least twice, but doesn’t. The tension builds, and builds as the conclusion draws nearer, until the point where the song feels like it’s exhausted its last resources, and then it abruptly ends. This makes the song something worth being revisited almost instantly just for that particular build-up.
What’s possibly most disturbing are the final moments of The Unattractive, Portable Head, with its driving ‘whoa’s’ and bleak discernible lyrical content:”I want to cast off the wings of desire/I want to be buried in a field of fire/I want to stand up and be twenty feet tall/I want to reach out and feel nothing at all/nothing, nothing, at all”, leaving the album and ending their careers on a cathartic note. It’s a shame that their sound has become fully realized just as the group disbands, but it’s also more than acceptable to leave on such a well-refined aesthetic of both chaos and control. Bleak, loud, chaotic- this is essential listening for those who have been following the band, and even for those who have yet to be introduced to the genre- one of 2010’s very best.
The First Supper
The Theater Goer
The Unattractive, Portable Head