Once one of art-metal’s most promising bands, Daughters hit their stride in the mid-2000s with a sound that blended the Jesus Lizard’s faux-macho bombast with jagged guitars that sounded like the Birthday Party played in reverse at 78 r.p.m. Their brilliant second LP, Hell Songs, barely lasted 23 minutes, as frontman Alexis Marshall snarled over guitarists Nicholas Sadler and Brent Frattini’s six-string swirls and drummer Jon Syverson’s machine-gun rattles. Then they broke up unceremoniously in 2009 while making their third album, Daughters, which came out posthumously in 2010.
They settled their differences and reunited in 2013 (sans Frattini) and have recorded a new album, You Won’t Get What You Want, due out October 26th. They’ve already released a couple of songs from it – “The Reason They Hate Me,” which has a heavy, swinging swagger, and the discordant, almost new-agey “Satan in the Wait” – revealing music with more of a mature slow burn than their previous releases.
“Long Road, No Turns,” the latest song they’ve released from the record, is another unique beast: off-kilter rhythms pierce through a seething veneer of distortion and Marshall, his voice sounding crystal clear, sings about making mistakes and coming undone. It builds and builds until Marshall’s voice verges on screaming, and he yelps, “Ain’t it funny how it works?/Someone’s always got it worse” and his bandmates reply, “They hit the ground harder than you.” But it never quite reaches the violent apex it seems to be promising, making it all the more menacing and unsettling. On some level, that’s what Daughters were always going for, but now they’ve figured out how to do it in a disturbing new way.