At the first of two sold-out nights at Chicago’s Beat Kitchen, spastic noise rock outfit Daughters transported some 200 fans back to the mid-oughts. For a time then, post-hardcore, math rock, grind, and spazzcore bands were having a moment. Groups like The Blood Brothers, Converge, Botch, The Locust, Melt Banana, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, and Daughters as well were all experiencing a popularity one might describe as inexplicable. Each act produced punishing levels of sound not meant for regular human consumption, pushing guitars through various pedals to a point that they became nigh unrecognizable as an instrument with strings. In the time just before YouTube, these bands’ live shows were thoroughly sweaty and frequently bloody affairs.
So while the vast majority made it out of Beat Kitchen on this night unbloodied, none who entered the room left dry — either by their own body’s accord or the sweat of their fellow attendees.
You Won’t Get What You Want is the new album on Ipecac Recordings from Providence, Rhode Island’s loudest export, and arguably their best release yet. The eight-year wait since 2010’s self-titled record was worth it if only to hear what a generation of not making music together could do to a group of people. This is a different band from Daughters - thoughtful, patient, and somehow even more cerebral.
Perhaps the best way to describe both the new record and the evening’s sets is: tension. Where the band’s previous outings relied upon aural tropes from those early years after the turn of the century - absurd song titles, relentless double bass, lightning guitars, sneering vocals, tracks that fail to clear a minute long — YWGWYW bides its time, its songs building to fervent payoffs.
There’s also an argument to be made that the band was even better known for its ferocious live shows than its recorded material. Through the lens of YWGWYW, this sentiment took on new meaning. Set mainstays like the opening trio of songs from 2006’s Hell Songs (“Daughters Spelled Wrong”, “”Fiery”, “Recorded in a Pyramid”) bent in unexpected ways, their fury injected with newfound tension. Alongside new tracks “Satan in the Wait” and closer “Ocean Song”, it felt like these songs were always meant to be together. It was a kind of demented horror, sure on its feet, that marked the band’s latest era.
While hardcore may be known for its strong community, it is frequently one that ostracizes anyone who isn’t a masc white male. But over the course of 14 songs this evening, the camaraderie for those in attendance, of all backgrounds, was universal. Everyone in attendance, it seemed, was grateful for their return,a new, more mature version that has managed to hit new strides.
The group will return to Chicago in March — this time at a venue triple the size.
Daughters’ openers could not have been more sonically different, but that just added to the feeling that something special was happening. Chicago’s own Ganser kicked things off with its dancey new wave and post-punk, but it was Louisville, Kentucky’s Jaye Jayle that helped set the tone for the headliners. Vocalist Evan Peterson previously fronted Young Widows, also a post-hardcore/noise rock band, and one that opened for Daughters a decade ago. This time around, Peterson leads a group that makes sounds most befitting of a Mad Max soundtrack: arid and driving, with teeth-rattling bass. It was an unexpected pairing, one that wound up making so much sense 45 minutes later and left those in the crowd yelling for more. Jayle’s latest is No Trail and Other Unholy Paths, out now on Sargent House.