Daughters – ‘You Won’t Get What You Want’

By Sean Lewis

Being a music fan can turn you into a cynical bastard. Sure, we’ve all heard a lot of great music this year. But with every album or song that you can imagine available at the click of a button, its hard not to feel like you’ve heard it all before – no matter how extreme, heavy, or boundary pushing an album is, it’s been done. Technical grindcore? Yawn. Jazz metal? Next!

‘You Won’t Get What You Want’ does have its reference points. Suicide, The Jesus Lizard, and Swans immediately spring to mind. Yet, there’s not a single notable artist that has layered noise, grind, and industrial in such an overwhelming and terrifying way.

Starting with a blast of ominous industrial noise, ‘City Song’ sets a pitch black tone for the rest of the album. This bleeds into ‘Long Road No Turns’, which has a buzzing, waspy riff that induces a primal anxiety. By the time ‘Satan in the Wait’ kicks in, you are deep within the mire. ‘You Won’t Get What You Want’ masterfully creates a brooding, intense atmosphere that only intensifies as you sink further into it.

On ‘The Flammable Man’, Daughters’ grindcore roots rear their ugly head. Despite being a little over two minutes long, it manages to create the same tension as seven minute monoliths like ‘Ocean Song’. Daughters shift gears into full on Trent Reznor mode on ‘Less Sex’; the subdued synths and sudden blasts of feedback, coupled with a surprisingly soulful vocal performance from Alexis S. F. Marshall, create a seductively dark slice of industrial rock.

‘Daughter’ combines a primordial performance from drummer John Syverson with synths and guitars that sound like they’re influenced more by nightmares than conventional music. ‘The Reason They Hate Me’ is a prime example of why Daughters hate the term “math rock”. Guitarist Nicholas Andrew Sadler’s performance may be complex, but it doesn’t come across as calculated. The overall vibe takes precedent over technical mastery on ‘You Won’t Get What You Want’.

The album climaxes with ‘Guest House’, with Alexis finally letting the tension release with a manic vocal performance. A yelped refrain of “knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking and knocking/let me in” haunts the track. No thank you.

‘You Won’t Get What You Want’ doesn’t conjure up feelings that are associated with other albums. It conjures the same feeling you get after watching ‘It Follows’ – it’s disconcerting, frightening, but above all else, captivating. You may think you’ve heard it all before, but you’ve never heard ‘You Won’t Get What You Want’.

SEAN LEWIS

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