“We’ve molded this piece of art and now we send it out into the world, hope for the best. Indifference is the true enemy of art—and that falls on the shoulders of the artist as well as the interpreter.” – Alexis S.F. Marshall of Daughters
Returning with their first new music in more than 8-years, Daughters are back with an album that unequivocally proves they were hardly indifferent to its creation. If you listen to this album and you’re indifferent to its contents, you’re either deaf, dumb, or just don’t care about music. To clarify, you can completely hate You Won’t Get What You Want. That’s fine. A bit disappointing, but the point of the quote above is that this album is one that provokes, subverts, and challenges the listener. That’s why it’s not at all pretentious to call it art. This isn’t the fucking Foo Fighters, for fucks sake.
The songs and sounds of the album are difficult to categorize. Call it noise rock, art-metal, industrial, and you’re almost right. Those generic elements are touched upon and will give you comfort as you try to wrap your head around what exactly is happening during the 50-minute assault to your senses. But, these are futile, unsatisfying comparisons. Likewise, this doesn’t really sound like the Birthday Party, Swans, or Killing Joke. But, it definitely sounds like a band that those bands would love to tour with. Just quit groping for reference points and turn off the lights, put on some headphones, and let Daughters take over.
Opening with “City Song,” what sounds like the soundtrack to an art house horror flick, the band slowly teases an all-out rock fest, but restrains themselves from delivering a predictable resolve. After four and half minutes, the song explodes into an amalgamation of disparate industrial sounds. “City Song” is the perfect album introduction because it sets the tone for what’s to follow: the unpredictable, the uncomfortable, the unruly. “Long Road, No Turns” follows with yet another example of what Daughters have to offer after their 8-year hiatus. God only knows what instruments are making the sounds heard over these 5-minutes, but what is certain is the ominous feeling of anguish and dread that drip from your speakers. “Satan in the Wait” follows the tone set forth in the opening two tracks, but stretches out over 7-plus minutes with perhaps the most melodic keyboard (maybe piano?) part (most melodic anything) on the album, juxtaposed against dissonant and repetitive rhythms that slowly build and eventually suffocate the soundscape.
If all of this is making you feel uneasy, good. But, the band does break up some of this with more uptempo, post-hardcore tracks like “The Flammable Man,” “The Lords Song,” and “The Reason They Hate Me.” Not only are these some of the shortest songs on the album, they’re probably the most digestible for those who just want to stir up a mosh-pit. But, if you’re prone to snuggling up to the broad, cinematic, and meditative musings of the band, “Less Sex” and “Ocean Song” will give you what you want. Thick bass lines, angular guitars, and atypical rhythms meld into a cacophony of sound before they fall apart as abruptly as they came together.
You Won’t Get What You Want is exactly as its title implies. It doesn’t sound like Daughters’ previous albums, or really much like anything else released in recent memory. Which is one of many good reasons why you should check it out. The album is uncompromising, relentless, and totally badass.
– J. Kevin Lynch