Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Pitchfork have reviewed Daughters most recent self-titled album, giving the record an 8.2 out of 10...
[pitchfork.com] This isn't technically Daughters' final album, but after recording, half the band quit, and whatever the remaining members (vocalist Alexis Marshall and drummer Jonathan Syverson) come up with in the future probably won't sound much like this. In a February 2010 interview with Noisecreep.com, Marshall all but says so while discussing the new album: "[Former guitarist] Nick [Sadler] wrote a lot of the stuff on there, and he was really looking to make it accessible, and see how it fared... There are definitely parts of the record that were written to see how people will respond, which is kind of disappointing."
If Sadler's name sounds familiar, it's probably from the decidedly non-Daughters-like charms of his other group, Fang Island. While he's not officially credited as a songwriter-- the songs on Daughters are attributed to the entire group-- Sadler is listed as a co-producer, which might explain the album's relatively less abrasive sound. Relative to other Daughters records, at least: Those hoping for the abrupt spasms from the group's 11-minute debut, or the slightly less abstract math essayed on Hell Songs, are going to be sorely disappointed when they drop the needle on "The Virgin". Most of the song's elements-- the frantic double-timed drumming, the insect-like chatter of the guitars-- are familiar from older Daughters' tracks. Its verse-chorus structure, on the other hand, isn't. And neither is Marshall's vocal transformation into a smooth and confident David Yow impersonator. Even the song titles are streamlined. While these moves might seem like capitulations of some sort, the band doesn't pull any punches because of them.
In fact, this refinement actually serves to focus Daughters' energies. There's still room for flashes of the manic fretwork and double-bass drum damage of old in tracks like the thick and brutal "The Dead Singer", or "Our Queens", a song that's equal parts fractured mathcore and fist-pumping punk anthem. That said, pummeling hook-filled songs like the "The Hit" or "Sweet Georgia Brown" are the new norm. The moves made here are no different than the recent "pop" moves made by equally uncompromising bands like the Dillinger Escape Plan, Converge, and Torche -- each of those bands still sound like themselves, but they're also open to change and wholly willing to evolve into something else, fan backlash be damned. It's just a shame Daughters couldn't survive this transformation. As I said earlier, hardcore Daughters lovers will probably have plenty of bones to pick with this album. For everyone else, Daughters is a feast to be savored.
Posted by Dan Goldin at 6:22 PM