Daughters - You Won’t Get What You Want (Ipecac Recordings) 2018
After eight years of hiatus and some line-up changes underground noise-rock antiheroes Daughters are back with an unbelievably fresh and mature new album. Think about everything that is great about Daughters and the legacy of the labels they’ve worked with (Hydra Head Records, Robotic Empire and Ipecac). Now, throw your Young Widows records into the mix and consider giving a listen to the amazing and incredibly underrecognized Enablers. See where I’m going? Going off easy by flagrantly name dropping in a review, that’s where I seem to be going.
The aggressiveness of Daughter’s early recordings seems to have given place to something that, while at times is almost subtle (at least by comparison), has much more devastating effects. The band found new ways of articulating their turmoil, reaching us deeper than before. It’s that universal language that only music seems to convey effectively, which reminds us all that we are not that different in the end.
Sometimes, noise-rock — let’s just call it that — might seem like a regurgitated cacophony vaguely resembling a song and just makes one, to quote Henry Rollins, want to “break shit and fuck on the floor.” While we might get a little bit of the ladder on the “The Flammable Man”, that’s not what’s mostly happening here. The record peaks — for me, at least — with “Satan in the Wait”, an almost avant-gardish approach to the art of the song with a near perfect vocal performance that makes me think of a theatre play actor who happens to be in a post-hardcore band, or something along those lines — great narrative skills here. It’s the kind of track that reminds me why I find myself leaning more and more towards vocalists that do not really “sing”.
Going back to “The Flammable Man”, there’s chaos to the instrumentation, but — trying to avoid using the word ‘organised’ here — there’s also a sense of direction, it serves a purpose and everything harmonises well together in the end. These guys know what they’re doing. They’re not agitators. They’re sharing. They’re communicating.
There’s something about the abrasive nature of the sound, the pounding bass and drums, and the vocals’ spoken approach that seems to induce introspection and make one want to swallow himself into fetal position and face its own demons. The darkwave vibe brought by the electronics on “Less Sex”, the way the album closes with “Guest House” and the overall use of dissonance and high-pitched glitches like stab wounds just adds to this feeling. Fortunately, somewhere down the line hardcore ass-kicking songs, like the single “The Reason They Hate Me”, come up and just seem to grant us the strength to take down all the motherfuckers. Is this self-help music? I guess it is.
Daughters do it the only way that matters: with zero compromise. Their sound is somehow artsy but still unpretentious and will certainly blow your head off.