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Album Reviews : Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want

By on October 29, 2018

Daughters just dropped an album so good, it’s bewildering. It’s at times a noisy, intense and powerful romp along the border of what could be considered “music” or “listenable,” but it also demonstrates a subdued and considered approach to songwriting – on You Won’t Get What You Want, the men of Daughters leave no doubt that they are musical fucking savants, able to make a bosa nova groove seem just as reasonable and unpredictable as a heavy Dillinger-style jam.

For context, Daughters are one of those underground bands enjoyed by wankers and name-dropped at Vice or Pitchfork parties. Starting as a noisecore/grind act, their initial albums were full of standard, albeit exceptional, minute and a half “spazzy” tracks a la Botch and The Chariot. While they showed something promising hidden underneath, they weren’t anything more than just Very Good.

At some point, however, they took a turn. Their vocalist stopped screaming and started doing his best black-out drunk Elvis impersonation, and the songs started getting weirder and emotionally deeper, while still being heavy and show-ready. For a hint, check out the songs The Hit and The Unattractive, Portable Head.

And how did they follow it up? By fucking breaking up, the ingrates. Daughters disappeared, and for the longest time, people like myself just assumed we’d just have to remember the good times, wistfully listening to past albums while staring out a rain-streaked window.

Spoilers: they got back together. And not only that, they released an album that I both fully love and appreciate, and can’t help but feel like I don’t yet understand.

There’s a lot to praise, so before I get to what’s really hooked me, I’ll list off all the basics. The mix is perfect, giving all the varied instruments and sounds room to breathe while still being nigh on unbearable when they want to prove a point. The tracks are a great mix of NIN style simplified noise, mathy grooves, and even an obnoxious and enjoyable fusion I suggest we label Noisecore And Western (seriously, Less Sex is straight up Noir-Country synthpop). Of special note are the vocals and lyrics (I’m not sure if singer Alexis Marshall also writes the lyrics). Alexis spends the album screaming, singer, yelling, whimpering and talking in ways that are so evocative they’d be half the band they are today without him. And the lyrics! Put simply, they’re Hemingway-levels of restrained poetry.

But the thing that has me gripped about this record is how effective it is at arousing an emotional response in me. It’s mournful, melancholic, hopeless and hopeful, and the band are adept at fucking with me. Maybe it just vibrates my waters in a specific way it won’t for you. But I doubt it. If you can listen to this album front to back, and not be impacted in SOME way by the closer, you’re dead inside. It is, from start to finish, some of the most haunting and affecting music I’ve been lucky enough to hear.

This album is art. It’s both why and how music exists. I might be over it in a week and look back at my hyperbole here and cringe. I don’t give a fuck. You Won’t Get What You Want has me excited in a way I haven’t been in a while. If you’re a fan of Dillinger, Nick Cave, post-rock, or just the idea of experimentation, listen to this album. And if you’re not, listen anyway. You will be by the end of it.

Band: Daughters
Album: You Won’t Get What You Want
Year: 2018
Genre: Hard Rock
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Origin: United States of America
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About

Mitch is a 26 year old vegan, socialist, atheist, utilitarian, reductionist metalhead, stand up comedian and philosophy major that hates labels. When he isn't being politely ignored at dinner parties he's being politely ignored on comedy nights around the country.