Daughters (03.2010, Hydra Head)
For: The Locust, The Jesus Lizard, As The Sun Sets
Byline:On their last and ultimately greatest album, the legendary Providence, RI grindcore group takes tentative steps towards greater accessibility and produces a truly thrilling push-and-pull between frantic art-noise blasts and pop-metal sheen. Originally published on www.inyourspeakers.com. Used by Permission from inyourspeakers, LLC.
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...Daughters is universally described as the group’s most accessible album, and it is easy to see why. For all the lucid pop moments, however, Daughters takes these steps with great trepidation. Howling shout-along choruses are squelched by ferocious math freak-outs as quickly as they come up. Tight grooves that plod along effortlessly are torn apart by atonal blasts of noise and then recycled later in the song. This uncertainty is spelled out in Sadler’s guitar work, which grinds and grates with malevolent ferocity, but is often layered with the same kind of pop sheen that make bands like Dillinger Escape Plan and Torche relatively easy on the ears.
On tracks like “The Hit,” the terror-inducing squeals of dentist drill guitars are gone, replaced with melodic thrash-metal lines that arc above the frantic dissonance reproducing beneath the surface. Moves like this signify explorations into greater accessibility rather than a total surrendering of ideals. They are quickly and self-consciously muzzled the next second with pummeling blast beats and cheese grater guitar work. For a brief moment it works, even if under the scrutiny of the rest of the band
The push-pull tendencies between accessibility and a ne’er-do-well wall of noise render some of the album’s most thrilling moments. “The First Supper” turns big, dumb power chords into a squall of processed art-noise, like The Refused used to do during a song’s epic breakdown. “The Theatre Goer” comes about as close to a guitar solo as grindcore ever does—although the solo is essentially Sadler vs. the amplifier, accruing massive amounts of feedback while he quite literally strangles his guitar. Despite the grind-heavy intro, “Sweet Georgia Brown” is a trashy-bluesy strut that showcases Marshall’s rockabilly-swagger like James Chance on acid...