Daughters You Won't Get What You Want
Album Review by Squiggs
A blurb to put you in the mood:
You’re running, running, running, past spiralling towers of decayed technology and empty, cracked streets. The air is filled with the constant drone of a thousand machines struggling to function, shrieking as motors come alive and die. The static is grating, like sandpaper on your ears. It might just drive you insane.
But it refuses to cease. It just gets louder and louder, becoming more and more frenzied, reaching hysterical heights. So you run, and run, and run through the digital wasteland. It’s the only thing you can do.
Let me tell you about this album:
I can’t lie. Prior to writing this review, I’d never heard of Daughters. In fact, I thought I was reviewing an entirely different band. When I first put on You Won’t Get What You Want, I worried that maybe the $10 pair of earphones I’d just bought from the corner store were crapping out on me. It turned out they were, and while that is a testament that you get what you pay for, it’s besides the point. What I’m getting at is Daughters’ sound is something I was entirely unprepared for. It’s unusual, disturbing, and kinda feels like you’ve been locked in a room full of monkeys on amphetamines, which is what I hear their live shows are also like.
My initial impression was: these are not the type of sounds you want to hear coming from your car. I wondered how was I going to write a review on an ethereal mathcore album when I’m barely capable of performing basic mathematics and have never heard of them before. So, I decided to spend the week with Daughters. On my way to meeting up with my partner, we both listened to their discography, read about them, and played their music for various friends - most of whom told me to turn Daughters off and put their shitey pop music back on. Now, at the end of the week, I think I’m finally ready to write about them.
Eight years is a hell of a long time to take a break. With most other things - smoking, drinking, thumb suckin-that long of a break would mean it’s over. The game’s been quit. There’s no more soup left. But not with Daughters. Even though the group disbanded for eight years, everyone moving onto their own projects, the song "You Won’t Get What You Want" is arguably their pinnacle. They’ve performed a metamorphosis which has turned them into something entirely their own; they’ve taken a massive step away from their infancy days of grindcore and have had a rapid-fire-from-the get-go mentality.
A lot of the distinctive sounds that make Daughters, Daughters are still present: the insane heart attack-inducing drums, the alien guitar distortion, and the manic frenzy of their music. In short, while the sounds are familiar, the ones that drew listeners to Daughters in the first place remain. It’s the sedation that’s new. The slow, purposeful, drawn out distortions and discordant noises that build and build. You Won’t Get What You Want takes you on a journey; you’re guided through a dystopian nightmare where every time your head is turned a new direction, some horror reveals itself, rather than in the past albums where you were shoved face-first into a blender, (which can be fun, but lacks certain ingenuity).
No song on the album demonstrates this change as well as the opening track, “City Song”, in which a sustained atonal drone, grows steadily in intensity and volume. From there the madness blossoms: sounds collide, explode, and reform. Gunshots ring out. Alex Marshall moans and shrieks. Audio grit threatens to burst your eardrums. And then, it’s all over - near silence - just like that. All that’s left is Marshall’s voice speaking to us, “the air shrieks, the breath is long, for the fires are out, the waters sit still.”
It’s poetry really.
To put a stopper in this wine bottle though, here are some of the other tracks I thought stood out:
"Long Road, No Turns" - It really does feel like there’s a long road with no turns.
"Satan in The Wait" - Puts you in an almost religious fervor.
"Less Sex" - It’s a little more melodic and slower than their other tracks.
"Guest House" - It’s the perfect track to end the album (give it a listen and you’ll see what I mean).