Daughters has grown into quite an ugly maturity. Its 2003 debut Canada Songs was a Dillinger Escape Plan-lite hodgepodge that lacked any sense of cohesion or identity. As the band evolved, it shed some of its schizophrenia. Daughters' newest (stream here) finds the band channeling hectic fits into a smoldering rumble.

Like many bands in the '00s, Daughters seem to have unearthed its older siblings' AmRep and Touch and Go records. Vocalist Alexis Marshall adopts a possessed Haynes/Yow yelp that serves the bent material well. Though not quite up to the demented genius of those "singers", Marshall matches his bandmates' sometimes-masterful psychosis. They replace the seizures of yore with a cocksure, bass-heavy tumble.

When the band eases up on the pigfuckfest, surprising things transpire. "The Hit" is the closest Daughters have come to crafting "pop".Whether it's a joke or a serious attempt to broaden horizons, "The Hit" is fantastic. It features the band's hypnotic and heavy tendencies filtered through a pop lens. The touch of melody sprinkled on the band's intrinsic madness works wonders.

Daughters' Achilles heel has always been self-indulgence. To some extent, the band continues to obviate its skills with bizarre song constructions and deafening production. But drummer Jonathan Syverson holds the ship together, even when it's on the verge of veering onto rocks. Though this band still enjoys fucking with itself and the listener, Daughters has never sounded so consistent and unified.

— Casey Boland

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