Published Oct 23, 2018If you're hoping for new Daughters the same as the old Daughters, let this album's title serve as a warning: You won't get what you want, and that's a good thing.
What's always been most exciting about the Providence, RI experimental punk metal band has been their unabashed genre smashing and gleeful flouting of expectation. The manic mathcore tendencies of their earlier records have further been tempted by time and songwriting maturity. That's not to say this is a more subdued affair though. The band's thick, aggressive squalls of demented ruckus furrow deep into low-tempo simmering grind injected with moody menace.
Tracks like "Satan in the Wait" are a great example of how the band have evolved to embrace the unexpected musicality hinted at in "The Unattractive, Portable Head," from their thankfully not-final album from 2010. The patient buildup and chiming gothic guitar line add an eerie, insidious quality that unsettles more than the sledgehammer approach ever could. Rest assured though, they still wield a mighty sledge when the urge calls — "The Flammable Man" is as ballistic as anything you'd find on Hell Songs.
The album is well-paced, dropping those frantic nuggets of ferocity between further-reaching experiments. "Less Sex" is the song that'll throw expectant listeners for the biggest loop. With Alexis S.F. Marshal trading his unhinged bark for a deep conversational croon and the utmost of emphasis on introspective vibe, it could almost be a crossover alt-rock hit, with its Trent Reznor-meets-Lou Reed-isms.
By far their most dynamic offering, Daughters have pulled off one of the great comeback albums and further cemented themselves as a band with such singular creativity that they're nearly peerless. It may not sound like the album you thought you wanted, but the open-minded listener might find it's precisely what was needed. (Ipecac)