Daughters

You Won't Get What You Want

Written by: KW on 06/01/2019 22:06:19

Daughters, from Providence, RI, is another band that has successfully passed under my radar since their beginnings in 2002. After getting some incredibly high praise from prominent reviewers in the music industry, and their announcement for the 2019 edition of the legendary Roadburn Festival, I decided to check it out for myself, as even though I am not very well-versed in noise-rock, I tend to see myself as a pretty curious person when it comes to new music. I was not prepared at all for what was about to hit me. “You Won’t Get What You Want” is quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard — and probably also unlike anything most people have ever heard. It will likely confuse you as it confused me upon the first listen, but like most challenging pieces of music, there is a high reward if you decide to give it the time it needs to fully open up.

“City Song” forebodingly kicks things off with pitch black, cold synths, thumping bass that sounds like a racing heartbeat and shotgun-blast-sounding snare hits, before the instrumentals get all distorted and clipping as Alexis S.F. Marshall’s demented ramblings join the fray in a thoroughly unsettling start to an album, telling you right out of the gate that this record is not going to hold your hand at any point. It culminates into cacophonous, industrial noise, all the while Marshall’s crazed shouts and screams sound like being inside the head of an insane asylum patient, barking like a dog and wimping in agony as it all cuts out to silence. I quite literally did not know what to make of this the first time I heard it, seeing as it is almost as far as you can get from a catchy, ‘normal’ song, but I was still insanely captivated by what I was witnessing. And this feeling definitely continues into the second track, “Long Road, No Turns”, which carries on from where “City Song” left off, albeit with more ferocity and energy to its noisy and unwelcoming style. Lead singer Marshall’s strange and angry spoken-word delivery will probably turn a lot of people off, but it is definitely a recognisable style he’s got going that fits the deranged aesthetic at play here, even if it it did take me a few listens to completely appreciate.

“The Flammable Man” and “The Lords Song” bring some mathcore chaos and hardcore attitude into the mix as the shortest songs on the album, where the former at one point sounds like The Dillinger Escape Plan fornicating with Nine Inch Nails while on a bad acid trip, spinning uncontrollably out of existence. The latter is way more straightforward rhythmically, but also provides one of the most desperate-sounding vocal performances on the album, complete with genuine voice cracks as Marshall shouts in a somewhat weirdly anthemic way: ”I cry about it, I cry about it, I cry about it because I want to!” I really enjoy the high energy on these two cuts, which also show the diversity the album contains. Indeed, Daughters have more to offer than just making horrifying noise, which “Satan in the Wait” is a great example of. The vocal style is the same, but the surrounding instrumentals turn way more tribal and bright. The guitars sound otherworldly, pitched beyond recognition, twinkling melodically like they’re entering our world from another dimension, while Marshall proclaims to the listener:

Their bodies are open / Their channels are open / This world is opening up!”

It is a hypnotic, yet still eerie and unsettling track, like witnessing an apocalypse cult finalise the ritual to end the world blissfully, and it is also incidentally one of my clear favourites on the record, given how the unique sounds really elevate each other in it. “Less Sex” is another more approachable track, where the bluesy rock riff and smooth bass groove give me some associations to something Clutch could produce, yet it sounds like the guitar is submerged underwater inside a dark cavern, giving it this creepy spin on it that has prevailed through the rest of the album so far. “The Reason They Hate Me” continues this more straightforward rock sound, quite strongly reminding me of something off Queens of the Stone Age’s Era Vulgaris, had the instrumentals on that record been put through a meat grinder. And this is what impresses me the most about what Daughters have come up with on this album: they explore some wild, out-there sounds but can also produce some beautiful, lush soundscapes and rock bangers to supplement the chaos. Most bands end on an epic high note for the album closer, but here “Guest House” brings the disorienting chaos back in full force for one last release, before blissful ambience brings it all to a close in brilliant fashion, with Marshall wildly blurting his poetic lyrics out:

The incorrigible wheel tilts at a grotesque angle / The delay is upon me / Who locked the door? / Who bent the key? / I’ve been knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking / Pounding and knocking and knocking / Let me in

“You Won’t Get What You Want” is a really challenging album to get through in more ways than one. Hell, I am not even sure I completely understand what’s going on at some points on the record yet. The mood is terrifying to say the least, the noise ear-piercing, and the musings in the vocals completely psychotic, but it is also consistently interesting and fascinating to listen to and interweaved with actual gorgeous sounds. This is an album that hasn’t gotten as many spins as some of my other favourite records of the year, simply due to the fact that it’s such a demanding listen, but it is nonetheless one of the most captivating musical experiences of the year for me, effectively succeeding in drawing me into this dark, twisted world Daughters have created for themselves. If you’re into widening your musical horizons, definitely give this one a shot. You might think it’s brilliant in its harrowing noise; or you might very well think it’s just pretentious bullcrap. I side with the former opinion personally, but can also see and understand what a polarising sound this could be.

9

Download: Satan in the Wait, The Flammable Man, Less Sex, The Reason They Hate Me, Guest House
For the fans of: The Body, Author & Punisher, Nine Inch Nails, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.10.2018
Ipecac Recordings

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