Review Summary: Hell Songs fixes the flaws encountered with Canada Songs while maintaining an enjoyable and quirky sound.
Imagine this; an Elvis-like voice accompanied by a barrage of unconventional guitar noises, a bass that sounds smooth and yet sometimes like teeth grinding on a piece of sandpaper, and drums that are as clean and powerful as a newly shaved buffalo. Meet the Daughters
and their latest release Hell Songs.
Their first significant release, Canada Songs
was to say the least, obnoxious. Their song structures sucked, the vocals were coarser than butt hair on soap, and the production was terrible. The only cool thing was the artwork on the actual disc (if you have it you know what I am talking about). While there were many problems with Canada Songs, it still was a fun listen. A quick recap, Canada Songs is quite unbearable, lacking relevant song structure, and fun. It sounds like that local High School band that used to play at the shabbiest clubs around town. That has all changed, and apparently, there is a God looking out for Hell Songs.
If there are any lyrics that stick in your head during this record, it is the introduction to "Daughters Spelled Wrong." It begins stating, I've been called a sinner
. The sinner then enumerates an ongoing list of words he has been called. A slow and drowsy song with simple drumming accompanied by weird guitar and bass work (believe me it is a mainstay throughout the album). It is a crisp example of their breakthrough in maturity from their last album. “Daughters Spelled Wrong” is an excellent initial track for the rest of the album to build off. The tempo is never as slow as the first track as “Fiery” picks up the speed and creativity that carries the album upwards. Daughters also do a great job of changing the musical landscape throughout songs and “Fiery” is a apparent example with different moods encountered. The standout track on the album is “Recorded inside a Pyramid.” It starts with a bass drum and a catchy guitar riff that is soon accompanied by the second guitar and bass. Double bass takes over mid song and drives a quirky section that leads into the beginning riffs that ends in a killer breakdown-like part that transition into a string section.
“Providence by Gaslight” also switches musically providing a pounding bass drum as a transition into sheer mayhem. It ends with a collection of violin, upright bass, trumpet, and euphonium playing an ever-high pitched part. Next, “Hyperven Tilationsystem” has some of the most intense instrumental work on the album. The drums are feverishly pounding away with the bass and guitar churning as a humongous (by Daughters’ standards) bridge ends the song with the clever lyrical phrase, love is a disgusting thing.
Speaking of churning, the overall theme of the six-minute extravaganza known as “Cheers Prick” is twisting bass and guitar work. After more than two minutes of what was previously mentioned, there a slight noise gap that soon picks up with the infection bass guitar lick that is simple and effective. That section ends with two minutes remaining, as all that is left are calm guitar work trilling away, while chaotic drumming that is not quite audible is in the background.
Daughters do however have some songs that are similar to Canada Songs concerning song structure. “Crotch Buffet” and “X-Ray” have a lack of direction in their short time span. They are missing the interesting factor as compared to other songs. Even so, there are some decent musical sections throughout. They have the chaos factor, but they do not have a broad enough length or distinct riff that stands out. In addition, songs may sound similar to one another, which are an ever-present draw back, but for the most part, they do a fine job of changing the sound of each song.
The Daughters changed in an important direction towards their growth. For one, this was twice the length of their previous release (eleven minutes as compared to twenty-three minutes) while having the same amount of songs. The vocalist threw out his piercing scream and went in a completely different direction. As a band, they learned how to produce excellent cohesive songs. It is nice to have a well-rounded spazcore (my defining genre for Daughters) album in my collection. The sound Daughters created for Hell Songs is like nothing I have heard recently and that a definite plus. I can sit down relieved that Daughters grew up even though they had to go to hell and back for it, whether it was acid-induced or not.