Seeing as it's close to Christmas, I figure it would be good to write about something as un-Christmas related as I possibly can- metal. Well, I guess it's metal. I mean, I've never been a huge metal head. Not as much as my buddy Monsoon Cobra. His blog is also pretty nice. Lots of penis jokes. However, I can appreciate good music. And as far as I can tell, the Daughters self titled album a piece of music. 8 songs to be exact.
I've been a pretty big fan of Daughters since one of my friends introduced me to them. Canada Songs was an album with brick wall power slamming into you in under 10 minutes. Hell Songs expanded upon what the band was about while being something you could play for grandma without making it feel like you just hit her over the head with a baseball bat and asked her what she was making for dinner. Hell Songs did turn people off because it was more concept development and less screamy-screamy. I can understand that; there are a lot of people in the world that enjoy micro movements of super powerful music. Webern (not Berg as I originally wrote) did that whole thing, and it lit up the musical world until he got capped smoking a cigar on his porch. But I digress.
"The Virgin" is a one-two punch lead into the album. The listener only gets about a 12 count before getting assaulted by dissonance. Most certainly, the song and its following songs are more structured than the past two releases. Hell, I could probably make a case for "The Virgin" being a rondo. Then again, I really don't want to notate it all and write an essay. So you'll just have to take me squinting my eye at it and saying it could be a rondo.
"The First Supper" is the first and, to date, only single released from the album. Lyrically, it has a feeling of Heart of Darkness, or something Mastadon would have written for radio play. Musically, its brutal and physically exhausting. Nick Sadler is an amazingly creative guitar player. Sam Walker and Jon Syverson have such a great meshing on bass and drums it makes me sick.
"The Hit" was most certainly titled tongue in cheek. This is the most pop oriented song on the album. Per capita, it has the least amount of tritone use of any of the songs on the album. It flows well with the entire album, and by no means should be dismissed. And its catchy. Really catchy.
"The Theater Goer" comes off as the most "balls to the wall" song on the album. Admittedly, I never understood why one would go balls to the wall or place balls on the wall, but it's the best colloquialism I can come up with. It focuses heavily on meter and riffage, with a surf-gone-wrong flavor. Not very complex lyrically, but it holds itself as a song perched near the center of the album, and a good way to keep the listeners heading through the last four tracks.
"Our Queens (One Is Many, Many Are One)" pulls deep from the roots of earlier Daughters work. It has a bit more angular form, but still has that pop sensibility for grandma. Not that its a bad song, but its the least effective song on the album.
"The Dead Singer" initially sounds like a song that would get written in the studio; someone is screwing around on an instrument during downtime and it gets recorded and put together from there. Quite vocally powerful, and possibly the penultimate in catharsis on the album.
"Sweet Georgia Brown" is a song I heard when Daughters was on tour with Young Widows and Russian Circles a few years ago. It got reworked and put onto the album, and I'm certainly glad that it did. This song encapsulates what should happen when the Southern Metal bands write an album. It pays homage though riffs to the Southern sound without being overly obnoxious and still holds true to the overall feel of the album. It's got a nice beat and you can dance to it, and not feel bad when you start beating someone up for catching you dancing.
"The Unattractive, Portable Head" is a fitting end to both the album and the current incarnation of Daughters. It departs completely from the melt-your-face metal that the album pushed forth through your speakers. I'm reminded of listening to a drum circle done with a four piece band while listening to this track. It's a great close to the album, but at the same time I feel incomplete. The song isn't as finite an end as "The Fuck Whisperer" was to Hell Songs. "The Unattractive, Portable Head" leaves the album in a half cadence. At the same time, this could just be me wanting another album.
Overall, the album is strong. Sound quality is great, and mastering is certainly a bit cleaner than the previous albums. I can certainly see why the band split up. Alexis Marshall (the singer) said in an interview that if you liked it, it was because Nick wrote basically everything. It has a greater pop appeal, but that really isn't a bad thing. It just gives you fodder if you want to be a hipster prick and say, "I liked them more back on Canada Songs". Daughters is worth giving a listening to, but if you have the same exact musical tastes as your grandmother... I hear there's a new Jimmy Buffett album out.
Check out their website here for songs or go here to buy the album.