September 7, 2006

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Daughters, Hell Songs
Hydrahead Records, 2006

The longest song on Hell Songs, the third album from Providence, Rhode Island, grindcore band Daughters, clocks in at exactly six minutes, which is perfect for a limited, caffeine-addled attention span like mine.

In fact, Hell Songs’ chaotic, unrelenting brand of post-punk/hardcore blasts by in all of 23 minutes, with the band never once pausing to look back, or catch its breath.

Daughters fall into the Locust/Blood Brothers realm of grindcore, creating cacophonous full-throttle noise-rock that pummels listeners into submission with thrashing riffs, throbbing bass, manic drumming and dark, provocative lyrics (did I mention the record’s titled “Hell Songs”?). It’s also difficult to write about any of the band members in detail as neither the album’s liner notes nor the band’s Web site (nor my exhaustive Internet searches of all the music sites I know) revealed more than the most bare bones information on Daughters. So understand no offense is intended when I refer to Daughters’ singer simply as “the singer.”

Tracks like “Fiery” and “Recorded Inside a Pyramid” feature freaked-out, mind-numbing guitar work that sound more like lasers than guitars. “X-Ray” contains stop-on-a-dime time signature shifts alongside pulverizing drumming, while “Hyperventilationsystem” blazes by with ungodly thrashing and the singer’s contemptuous refrain, “Love is a disgusting thing!” His blunt, cut-to-the-chase lyrical delivery consists of a sort of speak-sing voice that eschews the often indecipherable Tyrannosaurus roar so typical of the hardcore genre.

Clearly, Daughters’ sound is something of an acquired taste. Fans of the grindcore genre will appreciate the band’s technical skill and musical innovation, which even employs violin and upright bass at times. The whole thing ends way too quickly, but like a strong shot of vodka it hits you straight in the gut. A-

— Adam Marletta