The Vanderbilt Hustler

Daughters come to Nashville on Feb. 21

Brendan Sawyer

Rhode Island-based noise rock band Daughters will be coming to Nashville this coming Thursday on the tour for their first new album in nearly a decade, You Won’t Get What You Want. The band will perform at the Mercy Lounge at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.  

Daughters formed in 2002 after the breakup of the members’ previous band As the Sun Sets. They released their debut album Canada Songs in July of 2003, combining rapid, noisey, shrieking guitars of grindcore with the wonky time signatures of math rock all within an 11-minute run time. The band continued to develop their aggressive sound with Hell Songs in 2006, doubling the length of their previous album and replacing the screamed vocals of Canada to more melodic lyrics about satanic views of romance and love.

The recording process of their self-titled third album in 2009 was met with intense creative differences between vocalist Alexis S.F. Marshall and guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler, leading the band to dissolve indefinitely. Still, the band managed to release Daughters in early 2010. The album introduced more accessible guitar leads and elements of noise rock—changes that probably lead to Marshall’s departure after the recording sessions. While they may not have pleased Marshall, the album’s new sound was met with incredible critical and commercial acclaim, leaving fans and critics frothing at the mouth for more material.

They wouldn’t get another album for eight years. The band reformed in 2013 for a few live shows, and began recording their fourth album the following year. These sessions were quickly shelved, as the band felt they were forcing new material and wanted to continue to experiment. They hit the studio again in 2016, and over the next two years the band whittled down a Dropbox folder of 150 ideas to a collection of ten songs that became You Won’t Get What You Want. The album released in October 2018 to widespread critical acclaim, hitting dozens of music publications’ year-end lists. And for good reason.

You Won’t Get What You Want unleashes the next progression of noise rock. The album is nothing but haunting, anxiety-inducing, enraging, blood-curdling rock and roll. The ten tracks grab you by the collar and hurl you across a hellscape of paranoia, isolation and despair. It’s the closest I can compare an album to a psychological horror movie, and I love it. At 48 minutes, the album is more than twice the length of any of the band’s previous projects, and there isn’t a second of wasted material.

The album takes a mind-blowing start with “City Song,” as the initial thudding guitars are met with stuttering drums, gasped breaths and choked cries until the track erupts into roaring guitars that get in between the vertebrae of your spine. Marshall’s lyrics add to the anxiety, as he stoically mutters how “the buildings shriek/as everything weeps.” “Satan in the Wait” immediately explodes with terrorized guitar leads as Marshall chants “I won’t lie/I won’t lie/I won’t lie.” The track completely derails as every instrument chaotically thrashes, the tones tripping over themselves in glitching loops that combine modern production and tortuous improvisation until Marshall finally asks, “Is something burning in here or is it me?”

The band tones down the chaos in “Ocean Song,” allowing Marshall’s erie spoken-word storytelling to describe a man losing his sanity as he parks in his driveway: “He opens the door, the world is suddenly different/He senses something terrible awaiting/A loose thread, a worsening.” A voice urges him “to go, run/to go, run.” The song is nothing short of a modern day Edgar Allan Poe tale. The closer, “Guest House,” adds a final layer of terror, as Marshall takes the character of a demonic intruder, shouting over wailing guitars “I’ve been knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking/Pounding and knocking and knocking/Let me in.”

In short, You Won’t Get What You Want isn’t what Daughter’s fans wanted; it’s what we needed.

Tickets for the show can be found here.

All of Daughters’ music can be found on their bandcamp.

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