by Graham "Gruhamed" Hartmann
I once read online that Daughters vocalist Alexis Marshall’s style could be accurately compared to the sound of Elvis Presley being tortured. I would argue from more of a Jerry Lee Lewis on hallucinogenic drugs standpoint, but both are pretty damn accurate. This acid trip of a band made an important change to their style with the 2006 full-length, “Hell Songs,” with Alexis making the ballsy decision to change his vocal style during their rise as underground idols; from his classic mathcore shriek (think Dillinger Escape Plan or The Number 12 Looks Like You) to clean rockabilly-style crooning (in the vein of Buddy Holly or Carl Perkins). The result broke barriers, and was embraced by metalheads and liberal art students alike.
Daughters’ new self-titled effort is no different. From the second the intro track “The Virgin” kicks in, to the final bar of “The Unattractive, Portable Head,” your brain takes a mighty fine beating. The experimental band is out in full force with “Daughters,” arguably creating their most finely crafted effort to date. The chaos is well organized and flawlessly delivered, with brilliant wall-of-sound-like production polishing each hit. It truly feels like the album that Daughters were destined to, and always wanted to make. The catchy mid-tempo piece, “The Hit,” is one of the most impressive songs, not because of how avant-garde it is, quite the opposite, it’s because of how strong the song is while being the most “normal” sounding track in their catalogue. Nonetheless, Daughters delivers a more radio friendly track, with an addicting guitar lick reminiscent of the bridge in Poison the Well’s “Ghostchant.”
The bands drift from traditional mathcore may turn off hardcore fans of the not-quite-full length, “Canada Songs,” but the concoction that is “Daughters” is destined to engage and fascinate new fans from all rock backgrounds. This album is just too good to pass up and if you’re a fan of experimental music, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not checking it out… just leave the drugs out of the equation this time, this album is enough of a trip as it is.